Here's why Netflix changed the plot summary of Pocahontas

Ellen Stewart
Sunday 20 September 2015 10:10
Showbiz

How would you describe the plot of the 1995 Disney film Pocahontas?

Badass woman basically stops a war? Heroine talks to the animals, paints colours in the wind and still has time to try her hand at international relations and conflict negotiation?

Until this month, Netflix had been selling the flick on the rather questionable, overtly sexist and just plain rubbish plot summary:

An American Indian woman is supposed to marry the village's best warrior, but she yearns for something more -- and soon meets Capt. John Smith.

:-/

Fortunately, Adrienne Keene, a postdoctoral fellow in Native American studies at Brown University in the US, highlighted Netflix's cruddy description.

In a blog post for Pacific Standard, Keene likened the summary to that of a porn film or a bad romance novel.

It overly sexualises the film, and only positions Pocahontas in relation to her romantic options, not as a human being, you know, doing things.

She went on to address Pocahontas in the context of a world which "sexualises Native women [and] paints us as sexually available, free for the taking, and conquerable - an extension of the lands we occupy".

Her concerns did not fall on deaf ears, and prompted Netflix to update their outdated description.

The new summary reads...

A young American Indian girl tries to follow her heart and protect her tribe when settlers arrive and threaten the land she loves.

H/T: Mashable

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