Entertainment

Disney+ adds longer content advisory on movies for racial depictions

Disney+ has added a longer version of the content advisory it issued on several movies in November 2019, including films such as “The Aristocats,” “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “Lady and the Tramp” and “The Jungle Book.”

The new warning graphic runs for 12 seconds at the beginning of flagged films, rather than being written than in movies’ descriptions.

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the message 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. To learn more about how stories have impacted society, please visit www.disney.com/StoriesMatter.”

On that site, Disney added additional warnings about certain films like “The Aristocats,” describing stereotypes in even greater detail.

1970's "The Aristocats"
1970’s “The Aristocats”©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett

“The cat is depicted as a racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth,” the movie-specific warning reads. “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 such as “Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Foo Young. Fortune cookie always wrong.”

The Post previously reported that Disney+ began including a content advisory on certain films when it launched the streaming service last year. In descriptions of “Dumbo” and other films — such as “The Jungle Book” and “Fantasia” — Disney+ included a shorter disclaimer, which read: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

A scene from the 1941 Disney film "Dumbo"
A scene from the 1941 Disney film “Dumbo”Walt Disney Co./Everett Collection

Disney, which has been long criticized for including problematic themes in some of its beloved movies, also chose not to include some of the films deemed more offensive. The 1946 movie “Song of the South” — which has been denounced for its stereotyped portrayals of post-Civil War African-Americans — is nowhere to be found on Disney+, or elsewhere on home video or streaming.

It’s not just the movies catching heat, either. In June, fans petitioned for Disney to remove all “Song of the South” characters from Splash Mountain, a ride at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California inspired by the film best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”


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