Disney+ has removed Peter Pan, Dumbo, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Aristocats from its children’s section due to offensive racial depictions
Disney+ has removed several movies from children’s profiles on its service due to negative stereotypes.
The Walt Disney Company previously showed content warnings on the films for “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people and cultures” in October but has now removed access to the films for children under 7.
Adults can still view the movies on their Disney+ accounts with the content warnings.
Some of what Disney has said about each of the movies at the “Stories Matter” section include:
- “Dumbo” (1941): “The crows and musical number pay homage to racist minstrel shows, where white performers with blackened faces and tattered clothing imitated and ridiculed enslaved Africans on Southern plantations. The leader of the group in Dumbo is Jim Crow, which shares the name of laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.”
- “Peter Pan” (1953): “The film portrays Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions. It shows them speaking in an unintelligible language and repeatedly refers to them as ‘redskins,’ an offensive term. Peter and the Lost Boys engage in dancing, wearing headdresses and other exaggerated tropes.”
- “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960): “The pirates who antagonize the Robinson family are portrayed as a stereotypical foreign menace. Many appear in ‘yellow face’ or ‘brown face’ and are costumed in an exaggerated and inaccurate manner with top knot hairstyles, queues, robes and overdone facial make-up and jewelry, reinforcing their barbarism and ‘otherness.’”
- “The Aristocats” (1970): “The (Siamese) cat (Shun Gon) is depicted as a racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth. He sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks.”
The content warning displays on the films says:
“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”
According to The Guardian, Disney CEO Bob Iger previously said in 2011 that a release of the film on home media “wouldn’t necessarily sit right or feel right to a number of people today”.
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