‘Wrong then, wrong now’: Disney steps up racism warning on classic shows


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Disney has launched an advisory opinion on classic movies, warning viewers that what they’re about to watch contains racism.

The BBC reports that a notice in place since last year on many of the studio’s classics has now been significantly beefed up for anyone choosing select titles on Disney +, the streaming service.

Those who pick up Jungle Book, Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Aristocats and others will be warned that the films carry negative portrayals of certain races and cultures. For years, Disney has been criticized for a number of its classics – a situation exacerbated by the most recent global recognition of racism and discrimination.

In Disney’s The Aristocats (1970), for example, a yellow-faced cat uses chopsticks to play the piano. In Peter Pan (1953), Native Americans are referred to as “redskins”. In Dumbo, from 1941, crows taught elephants to fly. Their voices, however, have a jarring, stereotypical black sound. In Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, from 1955, Si and Am, Siamese cats, are portrayed using anti-Asian stereotypes. And in the 1968 Jungle Book, King Louie is a lazy ape with another over the top way of speaking.


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