Given the increased sensitivity in today’s social and racial climate, Disney has now provided an update to its original disclaimer on a handful of its animated films.
If you remember, back when the studio initially announced its new streaming platform, Disney+, the company made it very clear that there were going to be some major changes. One of them being the decision to NOT add the 1964 Oscar-nominated film Song of the South to its collection due to its post-Civil War stereotypical portrayals. Another major change also came in the form of the removal of certain scenes that held “negative depictions” from various movies such as Dumbo and Aladdin. Because of that, Disney+ added a 12-second disclaimer that addressed those scenes saying: “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.”
And now, in an effort to further embrace its commitment to an inclusive future, Disney provided a more in-depth explanation that speaks to its ideals. It reads:
“This program includes 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.”
Immediately following, Disney also provides examples of four films that will now receive the advisory including The Aristocats, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson for its stereotypical and racist depictions of East Asian, Black, Middle Eastern, and Native peoples. This update acts in tandem with the entertainment giant’s Stories Matter Initiative, which advocates for more diversity and inclusion accuracy in storytelling.
Per the initiative’s site: “Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re committed to giving voice to their stories as well. To that end, we’ve brought together a group of experts from outside our company to advise us as we assess our content and ensure it accurately represents our global audiences.”
Those experts include the African American Film Critics Association, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, Define America, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, GLAAD Institute, Hollywood, Health & Society, IllumiNative, NALIP, RespectAbility, The Science & Entertainment Exchange, and Tanenbaum.