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Disney+ Is Putting A Disclaimer For Racism In Popular Old Movies

Popular titles like Peter Pan and Dumbo come with a note that they “may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

Posted on November 13, 2019, at 4:56 p.m. ET

Disney

Disney+ is now home to classic movies like Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Lady and the Tramp — all of which now come with a disclaimer that they “may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

The streaming service has attached the notice to movies that contain racist elements and have been criticized as such in the past. Popular titles like The Aristocats, Fantasia, and The Jungle Book all have this disclaimer — though it is slightly buried in the plot description of the movies.

Disney

In Dumbo, for example, there is a crow character named Jim Crow who speaks in an accent that is a racist parody of a black American accent, while The Aristocats and Lady and the Tramp feature Siamese cats that speak in voices that are offensive parodies of East Asian accents — all of these characters were voiced by white actors. Peter Pan includes racist depictions of Native Americans.

People took notice online and praised Disney for adding the disclaimers — and, in a way, taking responsibility for past mistakes.

Disney + off to a good start with text disclaimers “may contain outdated cultural depictions”

Twitter

One of the first things I noticed while looking around #DisneyPlus was "This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions." And I love that.

Twitter

Look at #DisneyPlus letting the people know early that their old films were racist and culturally insensitive. Accountability is key, and historical context is important.

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Others were not as impressed.

@notittygothgf_ i think it's the fact that disney is trying to gloss over the fact that some of the shit is flat out racist by calling them "outdated cultural depictions" like the crows from the original dumbo movie were pretty much racist black caricatures

Twitter

Song of the South — a story set in the Reconstruction era that even Disney CEO Bob Iger has called “fairly racist” — remains absent from the library. The dark-skinned centaur named Sunflower in Fantasia who took care of the lighter-skinned centaurs also remains edited out.

The disclaimer also drew comparison with a similar warning Warner Bros. put on its iconic Tom and Jerry cartoons, which more explicitly stated that while these depictions “were commonplace in American society,'' they were “wrong then and are wrong today.”

@Jee_vuh @infoCinelandia Warner Bros has been doing the same thing with their home video cartoon releases. Their disclaimer is way better than Disney’s.

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BuzzFeed News has reached out to Disney for comment.


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