Disney Attaches Racism Warnings To Multiple Iconic Films


The Walt Disney Company has officially added social justice content advisories to a number of films and television programs available on its video streaming service, Disney Plus.

Introduced in the interest of fostering “diversity and inclusion,” the warnings appear for exactly 10 seconds in the form of simple white text on a black background card presented before select pieces of content.

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the labels read. “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.”

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Such classic cartoon romps as “Aladdin,” “Dumbo” and “Peter Pan” were all deemed stereotypical and racially insensitive, Ashley Carter of Spectrum News 13 reported.

Their mass flagging came as part of the company’s newly instituted “Stories Matter” initiative, according to an online news release intended to accompany the Disney Plus content labels.

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“Stories shape how we see ourselves and everyone around us,” Disney wrote. “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.”

“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,” the company added.

“To that end, we’ve brought together a group of experts from outside our company to advise us as we assess our content and ensure it accurately represents our global audiences. As we embrace each other’s stories, we embrace possibility. And that’s why we’re committed to doing the best we can to represent communities authentically. So people not only see the best in themselves, but the world can see it too.”

Disney went on to provide several specific examples of material that would warrant its newly introduced labels.

The 1953 cartoon adaptation of “Peter Pan” had been flagged over its failure to accurately represent the diversity or depth of Native American culture in the indigenous population at the island of Neverland, while “Dumbo” received its label for paying “homage to racist minstrel shows” with the black crow, Jim.

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“Swiss Family Robinson” and “The Aristocats,” for their part, both received labels for their caricature of East Asian and Middle Eastern people groups.

It was not the first time the company had addressed social justice concerns with regard to its relatively young streaming service.

Several programs, including “Dumbo,” were already affixed with content advisories last November, though they were far briefer.

The controversial 1946 hybrid musical “Song of the South” has also been notably absent since the introduction of Disney Plus, widely held to be racist in its failure to in any way address slavery despite the fact that the wise elderly character of Uncle Remus was, in fact, a slave at the plantation on which he lives prior to the events of the film.

Other notable companies have done similarly with streaming services of their own, with HBO pulling “Gone with the Wind” over its inaccurate depictions of chattel slavery, before eventually bringing the program back with a contextual content advisory.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.