Disney+ has sparked a fiery debate after quietly ditching several popular classics from children’s profiles.
According to the reports, the streaming service no longer offers several classics, including Peter Pan, Swiss Family Robinson, Dumbo, and The Aristocats, to children in a bid to get rid of racist stereotypes and problematic portrayals of people from minorities.
While the titles have been removed from children’s profiles, the movies are still available on adult profiles on the platform. They, however, come along with a clear warning about negative depictions they contain.
“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the full advisory reads.
“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.”
Elaborating the offensive depictions on their ‘Stories Matter’ site, the company explained what exactly is wrong with some of the titles that were slapped with the warning.
Speaking of Aristocats, the company insisted that one of the cats representing East Asians came with “exaggerated stereotypical traits” such as buck teeth and slanted eyes. “He sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks,” they explained.
Meanwhile, Dumbo has been accused of racial discrimination of Black people, whereas the company stated: “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.”
As for Peter Pan, the movie has been blasted for showing Native Americans in a stereotypical way rather than portraying their authentic traditions and lifestyle.
“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, a form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples’ culture and imagery,” the company explained.
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