Entertainment

'The Jungle Book' Film To Be Remade, Critics Say 1967 Version Was Racist

| by Michael Allen

Disney recently announced that its 1967 animated feature "The Jungle Book" will be remade as a live-action/CG hybrid.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o are in talks to star in the film, which is to be directed by Jon Favreau. Warner Bros. is also developing its own version of the Rudyard Kipling classic.

Critics claim that the orangutan character King Louie, in the 1967 Disney version, was an example of negative racial stereotyping and represented inequality between African-Americans and white people.

"The original choice would have been offensive, Louis Armstrong as an ape," Syracuse University Professor Robert Thompson told Yahoo News. "The choice they went with had a minstrel show feel to it, also offensive.”

DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall added, "The King Louie character can have his speaking mannerisms updated in a way that suggests he speaks in a manner similar to other characters."

"I don't think the upcoming film needs a total scrubbing, or at some point it would no longer be loyal to the original story," said McCall. "But it can be updated with a keener eye to avoiding stereotypical language or behaviors that could be translatable to ethnic definition."

Sources: Yahoo News and The Hollywood Reporter