If you subscribe to Disney + and want to see Disney classics like Peter Pan, The Aristocats and Dumbo, you will now be greeted with a comment.
The remark sheds light on the fact that the films are old-fashioned and contain negative depictions and representations of people and different cultures.
Racist caricature and exaggerated stereotypes
Disney has been criticized for several years for having stereotypical representations of different ethnic groups.
Among other things, it has been pointed out that the film Aristocats contains racist caricatures of Austrian people, because they are portrayed with exaggerated stereotypical features such as narrow eyes.
When it comes to Peter Pan, the film has been criticized for portraying the Native American people as stupid.
In addition, they are referred to as redskins, which are interpreted by many as noisy.
In a dance number, Peter Pan is dressed in headgear and other accessories that originate from the indigenous people.
Now Disney is taking self-criticism, calling the scenes in Peter Pan a mockery and appropriation of indigenous culture. That is, cultural appropriation.
– These stereotypes were wrong then, and are wrong now, the studio says to its own website Stories Matter.
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Will not remove content
Disney says that instead of removing the content, it would rather acknowledge the harmful effects these films can have. They want to encourage people and their seafarers to reflect and talk about this, to create a more inclusive future together.
– We are committed to creating stories that reflect the rich diversity of human experiences across the globe, they write.
Disney + has commented on outdated cultural productions on the films in question ever since they launched the streaming service, but has now expanded the language and length.
It comes after consulting with an advisory body that includes several organizations working to take care of African-American, Asian and queer interests.
In addition, they have seen a much greater focus on this topic on their website Stories Matter.
– Important and fantastic
– This is very important. It’s absolutely amazing.
– Society is evolving, and to a certain extent well not to remove films with discriminatory content is the best option to write a poster that the content is offensive or problematic, says Linda Tinuke Strandmyr.
She is the deputy head of Agenda X, which is the youth department of the Anti-Racist Center. They work with culture and leisure activities for young people, and anti-racist youth policy.
She hopes that this can influence the choices Disney makes in the future, and that they can facilitate a more inclusive content.
– If one is to make a film based on a country or a culture other than oneself, then it is important that it is people from that country and culture who set the tone and premises, she says.
– But is it really necessary to have a warning on old Disney movies, do you not think people understand they are outdated?
– Yes, it’s necessary. It is dangerous to take for granted that people are aware of racism in that type of film.
She adds that the Disney movies are eternally relevant and that children also grow up watching the old Disney movies.
– And it is not easy for children to have a critical eye. Everything children see helps to shape their attitudes. One should not underestimate the power of Disney.