Disney+ is strengthening the wording of its disclaimer warning viewers of racial stereotypes in classic Disney films.
The streaming platform has replaced its initial “outdated cultural depictions” warning that’s been in use since November 2019 with a 12-second advisory that can’t be skipped. The new disclaimer offers a more in-depth warning about “negative depictions” and “mistreatment of people or cultures” in titles such as “Dumbo” (1941), “Peter Pan” (1953), “The Aristocats” (1970), “The Jungle Book” (1967) and the original “Lady and the Tramp.”
“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” the updated disclaimer reads. “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. To learn more about how stories have impacted society, please visit www.disney.com/StoriesMatter.”
Disney+ disclaimer:The streaming services adds an ‘outdated cultural depictions’ warning to classics ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Peter Pan’
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Viewers are then directed to a website that further explains the racially insensitive scenes. In “Dumbo,” for example, a crow named Jim Crow speaks with a stereotypical African-American accent, and in “Peter Pan,” Native people are referred to as “redskins” and portrayed speaking in an unintelligible language. “The Aristocats” and “Lady and The Tramp” feature Siamese cats with stereotypical Asian accents. All of these characters are voiced by white actors.
The revised language of the new disclaimer comes less than one year after its original advisory, which included a much shorter message.
“This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions,” the first warning reads after each film’s plot description, referring to triggering elements that are culturally insensitive.
Twitter users were quick to notice the new addition, with one tweeter applauding the “much better content advisory warning.”
“Instead of saying there ‘might’ be content that some ‘consider’ offensive, they flat out acknowledge some of their old movies are racist and take responsibility for it,” @rapunzelariels wrote.
Others remained skeptical, with @Masterge77 pointing out that “Warner Bros has been doing this for years.”
“I fail to see why it took Disney so long to get here.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson