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movies like Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Lady and the Tramp — all of which now come with a disclaimer that they “may contain outdated cultural depictions.”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.
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.
Others were not as impressed.
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.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Disney for comment.