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Disney+ Putting Disclaimer For Racism In Popular Old Movies

by : Emily Brown on : 14 Nov 2019 17:41
Disney+ Putting Disclaimer For Racism In Popular Old MoviesDisney+ Putting Disclaimer For Racism In Popular Old MoviesDisney

Disney+ is protecting itself against complaints by putting a disclaimer for racism in some of its old movies. 

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The new streaming service arrived earlier this month packed to the brim with some classic Disney shows as well as new, original content.

One of the draws of Disney+ is the fact it’s home to every single film the company has ever made, giving Disney fans their favourite childhood movies from years gone by on demand.

the jungle book 1967the jungle book 1967Disney

Though many films have been getting a new lease of life with live-action remakes, some of the old animations remain fan favourites, including Lady and the Tramp (1995), The Jungle Book (1967), Peter Pan (1953) and Dumbo (1941).

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However, a number of these films include blatantly problematic racist elements – though the company clearly deemed them acceptable at the time.

In Dumbo, for example, a character named Jim Crow speaks with an accent which is a racist parody of a black American accent. Similarly, both The Aristocats and Lady and the Tramp feature Siamese cats which speak in voices that are offensive parodies of East Asian accents. All of these characters were voiced by white actors.

Crows from DumboCrows from DumboDisney

Peter Pan includes racist depictions of Native Americans.

As society has become more aware, the references are recognised as being unacceptable and as such Disney has decided to include a disclaimer in the descriptions for some of their older films.

It reads:

This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.

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Popular titles like The Aristocats, Fantasia, Dumbo, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and The Jungle Book all have this disclaimer in an attempt to address the issues.

A number of Disney+ users have praised the use of the disclaimer on Twitter, with some commending the company for holding themselves accountable.

One viewer tweeted:

Look at #DisneyPlus letting the people know early that their old films were racist and culturally insensitive.

Accountability is key, and historical context is important.

However, others have accused Disney of trying to ‘gloss over’ the fact they share racist content by referring to them as ‘outdated’.

One frustrated user wrote:

i think it’s the fact that disney is trying to gloss over the fact that some of the sh*t is flat out racist by calling them ‘outdated cultural depictions’ like the crows from the original dumbo movie were pretty much racist black caricatures.

Though the disclaimer has been met with controversy, it is a necessary warning if the company plan to continue streaming their old films.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Film and TV, Disney, Dumbo, Racism