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Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view.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 "It may contain outdated cultural depictions."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

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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