We’ve recently been talking about some of the new stuff that’s coming to Disney Plus, but what’s just as interesting is how they’re handling their older cartoons and films. Many have been concerned about how some of their older content hasn’t aged well, particularly in this era, what with their offensive depictions of racial caricatures. But what were they going to do? Ban all of their classics?
Not according to ComicBook.com, who are reporting that now that Disney have launched their service, it’s become apparent that they’ll not be censoring potentially offensive material from a by-gone age (though they may remove some of it). Instead, they’ll be issuing a disclaimer, warning viewers that what they’re about to watch was not considered unsavory at the time. The message reads: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
The disclaimer’s a bold move by Disney who are willing to air cartoons and flicks that show certain characters as racist stereotypes. Take Dumbo, for example, in which a flock of crows (one of whom’s literally named Jim Crow) are depicted as ‘jive talking’ stereotypes. We recently spoke about how they’ve actually cut this scene all together.
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Of course, the studio has taken steps in the past to rectify such outdated portrayals, such as removing the incredibly offensive centaur scene from Fantasia, in which a black, hoofed creature is seen serving a beautiful white centaur. However, they’ve yet to issue a disclaimer for the original Aladdin, which is known for its stereotypical Middle Eastern look for the likes of Jafar.
In any case, society has come a long way since the Mouse House’s early days, so it’s interesting to see Disney try to tackle their old ways head on.