Tags: disney | racism | movies | streaming | kids | dumbo | peter pan

Disney Hit for Decision to Cut 'Dumbo,' 'Peter Pan' From Kids' Profiles

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By    |   Wednesday, 10 March 2021 02:56 PM

Disney has recently come under fire for the decision to remove certain movies the company says show racist depictions such as “Dumbo” and “Peter Pan” from the Disney Plus Kids Profile section, a move that was announced several months ago.

This decision was first revealed last October, when Disney added content warnings to several programs and removed them from the children’s section of their streaming service, though “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “The Aristocats” and “Swiss Family Robinson,” all remain available on the streaming service for non-Kids Profiles. The New York Post reported on Wednesday, “More like Disney minus,” and Fox News wrote that “Disney+ has removed access to classic movies… from menus for children under seven years old.” 

The content warning 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."

On its “Stories Matter” website page explaining the decision, Disney notes that “As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures. Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we're committed to giving voice to their stories as well.”

On “The Aristocats,” Disney says, that a “cat 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. This portrayal reinforces the ‘perpetual foreigner’ stereotype, while the film also features lyrics that mock the Chinese language and culture.”

“Dumbo’s” “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. In ‘The Song of the Roustabouts,’ faceless Black workers toil away to offensive lyrics like ‘When we get our pay, we throw our money all away.’”

Disney says “Peter Pan” “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, a form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples' culture and imagery.”

Finally, “Swiss Family Robinson’s” “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.’ They speak in an indecipherable language, presenting a singular and racist representation of Asian and Middle Eastern peoples.”

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Disney has recently come under fire for the decision to remove certain movies the company says show racist depictions such as "Dumbo" and "Peter Pan" from the Disney Plus Kids Profile...
disney, racism, movies, streaming, kids, dumbo, peter pan, aristocats
Wednesday, 10 March 2021 02:56 PM
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