Disney continues to reckon with its problematic past.
On Disney Plus, users can now find content advisory warnings in front of several of Disney’s classics including Peter Pan, Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp. The message warns that the film contains “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.
The racist depictions in Disney's past films were only vaguely addressed previously. When Disney Plus launched, the warning only stated that the films contained “outdated cultural depictions”.
Disney also provides a link to a page that goes into further detail of each film’s racist depictions. For example, the page describes the “racist caricature of East Asian peoples” in Aristocats and the “homage to racist minstrel shows” in Dumbo.
Disney received praise for properly acknowledging its racist past, as well as stressing the severity of the offensive scenes, which is a major improvement from the previous warning.
Smart move on Disney's part. A lot of aspects about these films have aged like milk! https://t.co/ZYoZs7iURI
Others also pointed out that the studio is still problematic, as shown by the recent controversy over the live-action Mulan remake, which was filmed in the same Chinese province where Uighur Muslims are forced into internment camps.
It looks like Disney’s content warnings are sparking the conversation they were hoping for.