Disney Boss Bob Iger Confirms ‘Offensive’ Song Of The South Won’t Be On Disney+
Disney boss Bob Iger has confirmed the controversial film Song Of The South will not be available to stream on Disney+.
Though Iger has previously said the streaming service would eventually be home to the ‘entire Disney motion picture library’, the company has decided the 1946 film is ‘not appropriate’ for release in ‘today’s world’.
Song Of The South is set on a plantation in Georgia after the Civil War, and has received a lot of criticism for its depiction of black people and the language used, with viewers slamming the film as racist and offensive, with some dubbing it Disney’s most controversial movie.
Iger confirmed the decision at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, March 11, saying:
I’ve felt, for as long as I’ve been CEO, that Song of the South – even with a disclaimer – was just not appropriate in today’s world.
Given the depictions in some of those films, to bring them out today without some form or another, without offending people. So we’ve decided not to do that.
Though Song Of The South will not be making an appearance on Disney+, the company has included a number of other films that have been accused of featuring racist and problematic scenes.
In Dumbo, for example, a character named Jim Crow speaks with an accent that has been called a racist parody of a black American accent. Similarly, both The Aristocats and Lady and the Tramp feature Siamese cats that speak in voices described as offensive parodies of East Asian accents. All of these characters were voiced by white actors.
To protect themselves against complaints, Disney included a disclaimer alongside these titles that warned viewers they may contain ‘outdated cultural depictions’.
The decision to include the problematic scenes received mixed responses, with some social media users commending Disney for holding itself accountable for the controversial scenes, while others accused the company of trying to ‘gloss over’ the fact it shares racist content by referring to it as ‘outdated’.
At this week’s shareholder meeting, Iger also addressed the fact some other older titles, including short films Victory Through Air Power and Follow Me Boys, were still not available on the streaming service.
He said the company was working on digitising other library titles to add to Disney+, but admitted the process was proving more difficult than originally thought.
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