Disney CEO finally confirms that 'Song of the South' won't be available on Disney+
via Clicky Sound / Twitter

When Disney launched its streaming service in November, there was a notable absence of its most controversial film, 1946's "Song of the South." The film hasn't been re-released in America since 1986 and was never appeared on home video in North America.

The film is a mix of live-action and animation and is best known for its Oscar-winning song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah."

"Song of the South" tells the story of a young white boy (Bobby Driscoll) on a Georgia plantation who is ignored by his parents so he spends his time with a joyous servant, Uncle Remus (James Baskett). Throughout the film, Remus entertains the boy with whimsical slave-era stories about Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear.

The stories were originally compiled by white Southern writer Joel Chandler Harris who has been criticized for profiting off the African-American folklore tradition.


The film's Disneyfied depiction of a plantation at some nebulous point in the late 1800s has been criticized for presenting "an idyllic, romanticized view of an American South that never was."

Here's a trailer from one of its re-releases.

Song of the South 1946 Trailer [digitally remastered] www.youtube.com

Folklorist Patricia A. Turner writes:

The days on the plantation located in 'the United States of Georgia' begin and end with unsupervised Blacks singing songs about their wonderful home as they march to and from the fields. … They provided no indication regarding the status of the Blacks on the plantation. Joel Chandler Harris set his stories in the post-slavery era, but Disney's version seems to take place during a surreal time when Blacks lived on slave quarters on a plantation, worked diligently for no visible reward and considered Atlanta a viable place for an old Black man to set out for.

While the film has only been available in the U.S. via bootlegs, Disney hasn't completely shied away from the film's characters altogether. The animated characters in the film, Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear are all prominently featured on the Disney ride Splash Mountain.

However, Uncle Remus is nowhere to be seen.

via Justin Callaghan

Disney has gotten around racist depictions in its older films such as "Dumbo," and "Peter Pan," on Disney+ by labeling them with an advisory: "This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions."

However, it believes that "Song of the South" is too troubling to be released on the platform.

"I've felt, for as long as I've been CEO, that Song of the South – even with a disclaimer – was just not appropriate in today's world," Disney's CEO Bob Iger said to a shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

"Given the depictions in some of those films, to bring them out today without some form or another, without offending people. So we've decided not to do that," Iger added.

Iger's decision will no doubt anger some who have have pushed for the film's inclusion on the streaming service. They claim that Disney's attempts to distance themselves from the film are an example of political correctness run amok and that they should be able to appreciate a "film of its time."

But the argument that "Song of the South" was an innocent just a product of its era negates the fact that it was seen as racist even upon its original release.

The NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film in 1946, but decried "the impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship." It also received scathing reviews from white film critics in The New York Times and New Yorker.

Film critic Karina Longworth claims both reviewers accused Disney of "wishing the Emancipation Proclamation had never existed."

via YouTube

Disney is right in keeping the film off its streaming service. Making it available, especially to children, would only work to legitimize the film's racism. But does that mean the film should disappear forever?

Longworth, the host of the "You Must Remember This" podcast, recently produced a riveting six-part series on the film and its troubling history. She thinks it should be available, but only so we can learn from its history.

"If I was running Disney, I would release it within the context of a documentary or something like that, basically saying all of the things I'm saying in this podcast season," Longworth told Rolling Stone.

"I don't think it should necessarily just be released on Blu-Ray or whatever," she continued. "I think you do need to make a historical statement while you're making it available."

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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