The new Disney Plus entertainment streaming platform launched Tuesday, but its trigger warnings are gaining as many headlines as is the launch itself.
What are the details?
The new platform includes trigger warnings for the older movies’ “outdated cultural depictions.” The older movies include “Pinocchio,” “Dumbo,” “Fantasia,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “The Aristocats,” and “The Jungle Book,” which have all previously faced criticisms for racist imagery, stereotypes, and more.
The warning states: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Naturally, the move drew heavy conversation on social media, with many people voicing their own outrage that the entertainment giant would have to issue sensitivity disclaimers along with their classic productions, while others lauded Disney for the politically correct move.
What’s so bad about those movies?
“Dumbo,” an animated film about a flying elephant, has been targeted in previous years for its depiction of a character named “Jim Crow,” which was voiced by a white actor. Many people — and outlets — likened the performance to wearing blackface. There was also an entire scene full crows that acted in a stereotypical and negative depiction of black culture. An entire scene involving the crows was stricken from the film altogether.
“The Jungle Book” also took a hit over the years for its portrayal of a monkey called “King Louie,” which critics have said presented a negative image of blacks. The character, voiced by jazz legend Louis Prima, is also “lazy and demanding and adheres to the stereotypes that were in America during the 50s and 60s,” according to Buzz.ie.
“Lady and the Tramp” also features the song, “We Are Siamese,” which is performed by two cats that sing with an exaggerated, stereotypical Asian accent.
“Fantasia,” according to some people, creates “gendered expectations” for men and women.