+
Culture

Disney has added new 'negative racial depictions' warnings to six of its classic films

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Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view.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 "It may contain outdated cultural depictions."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.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less