Disney+ Removes ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Peter Pan’ From Kids Profiles Due To Negative Depictions
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Streaming service Disney+ has blocked kids accounts from accessing several of its movies due to negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.
“Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “The Aristocats” and “Swiss Family Robinson” have all been removed from profiles marked as “kids.”
The kids accounts are curated to show only content suitable for younger audiences.
The move only affects accounts that have been set up specifically to show only content suitable for children. All four movies are still accessible on regular profiles.
According to Disney’s Stories Matter page, the company listed the following reasons for limiting the movies:
- Aristocats: “The 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 such as ‘Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Foo Young. Fortune cookie always wrong.'”
- Dumbo: “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. 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.'”
- Peter Pan: “The film 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.”
- Swiss Family Robinson: “The 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.”
The recent films are not the only items in Disney’s catalogue not available on a kids profile. While most of the company’s animated programming is accessible, none of “The Simpsons” episodes or movies are. Also, animated “Star Wars” shows can be seen on a kids-only account, but none of the films or the Disney+ original “The Mandelorian” are available.
Disney+ has included the following disclaimer on multiple movies and shows:
This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. 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 visitwww.disney.com/StoriesMatter
Disney made the decision with guidance from a third-party advisory council that’s composed of organizations that advocate for the communities they represent, according to the site. The council includes entities representing Black people, Asian Pacific people, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ+ community, Native Nations, Latinx people, people with disabilities, religious groups, and more.
“Stories shape how we see ourselves and everyone around us,” according to Stories Matter. “So as storytellers, we have the power and responsibility to not only uplift and inspire, but also consciously, purposefully and relentlessly champion the spectrum of voices and perspectives in our world.”
In addition to being able to create a kids-only account on Disney+, parents also have the option to limit what can be seen based on ratings, ranging from TV-Y to TV-14.
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