Disney has added new 'negative racial depictions' warnings to six of its classic films
via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.


Disney has used both strategies to deal with films from its past with offensive material. Earlier this year, the company's CEO Bob Iger announced that its controversial 1946 film, "Song of The South" wouldn't be released on Disney+ streaming service because it's "just not appropriate in today's world."

via YouTube

"Song of the South" has been heavily criticized for its depiction of Black people working on a plantation at some nebulous point in the late 1800s. Critics say it presents "an idyllic, romanticized view of an American South that never was."

Films with offensive content that haven't been eliminated from Disney's streaming service are tagged with a warning message at the beginning. "This program is presented as originally created," the warning said. "It may contain outdated cultural depictions."

But now, Disney is going a step further by adding a longer warning to "Aristocats," (1970) "Dumbo," (1971) Peter Pan," (1953) "Lady and the Tramp," (1955) "Jungle Book" (1967) and "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960). the company has also created a website called Stories Matter, where some of the offensive material is discussed.

via Disney

"This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures," the new label reads. "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."

The disclaimer ends with a link to Disney's Stories Matter website.

The Stories Matter site explains Disney's new push for greater inclusivity, openness to learning from the past, and goal of creating "a tomorrow that today can only dream of."

The site also explains why certain films were tagged with an advisory.

"Aristocats" received the advisory for a feline character that is a "racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth."

"Dumbo" received the advisory for multiple offenses, including an homage to minstrel shows and a scene where "faceless Black workers toil away to offensive lyrics like 'When we get our pay, we throw our money all away.'"

"Peter Pan" received its advisory for its depiction of "Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions."

"Swiss Family Robinson" has a disclaimer because of the film's pirates that are portrayed as a "stereotypical foreign menace."

"Jungle Book" also has the warning, but it's not explained on the Stories Matter site. The film has been criticized for King Louie, an ape character that's clearly a Black stereotype.

"Lady and the Tramp" isn't included on the Stories Matter site either, but received the warning most likely because of its Siamese cat characters that are anti-Asian stereotypes.

The films that have been tagged with new advisory warnings are all aimed at families. Hopefully, they inspire a conversation between parents and children about racism that will ensure that we don't make the same mistakes we've made in the past.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 10.23.15


Getting people who don't suffer from anxiety issues to understand them is hard.

People have tried countless metaphors and methods to describe what panic and anxiety is like. But putting it into the context of a living nightmare, haunted house style, is one of the more effective ways I've ever seen it done.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."