Skip to main content

Disney Pulls Kids Costume After 'Brownface' Accusation

The Walt Disney Company pulled its new "Maui Costume" for kids, which is based on its upcoming animated film "Moana," after accusations of promoting "full-body brownface."

According to BBC Newsbeat, the full-body costume includes simulated brown skin, Polynesian tattoos, a necklace made of fake bones, and a grass skirt.

The outfit is worn by the animated character Maui, who is voiced in the cartoon by Dwayne Johnson.

Disney was also accused of Polynesian culture appropriation.

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission called on Disney to "listen to the views of the communities and people whose cultures their movie is based upon."

According to, Disney described the item as: "Your little one will set off on adventures in this Maui Costume featuring the demigod’s signature tattoos, rope necklace and island-style skirt. Plus, padded arms and legs for mighty stature!"

BBC Newsbeat noted some of the outraged responses to the fictional costume on Twitter:

"The pe' a is a sacred tattoo and selling a costume of it is offensive to Samoan and other PI cultures. NOT OK."

"Dear #Disney, our brown skin is not a costume. Get outta here with that crap. Sincerely, a furious brown skinned Pacific Islander."

"White people, Disney marketing teams: remember that no one ever sold a fake white skin as a Snow White costume."

However, there were some dissenters who didn't mind the costume:

"As a fellow Poly, I am not offended by the #MOANA costume. I understand our brown skin is not a costume..."

"#Moana costume is cute!! Nothing wrong with it ppl!!!"

A Disney rep issued a statement on Sept. 21: "The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some. We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores," reports

Sources: BBC Newsbeat, / Photo credit: Disney via

Popular Video