Walt Disney has been the subject of backlash time and time again because of the racist stereotypes present in some of its movies.
In its “Stories Matter” initiative, Disney announced that it had added advisories to some of the films that are available for streaming on Disney Plus.
The advisory warning states that the movie the viewer is about to watch contains racial stereotypes “that were wrong then and are wrong now," and that there are scenes that perpetuate "negative depictions" of cultures and people.
A number of Twitter users shared pictures of the warning that came up on Disney Plus.
Six movies on Disney Plus have the warning — including "Peter Pan," "The Aristocats," "The Jungle Book," "Lady and the Tramp," "Dumbo," and "Swiss Family Robinson."
The "Stories Matter" website explains why these movies have the warning by highlighting the racist caricatures and stereotypes that are present in some scenes.
Referencing the 1953 "Peter Pan" animated movie, Disney's website states: "The film portrays Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions."
"It shows them speaking in an unintelligible language and repeatedly refers to them as 'redskins,' an offensive term. Peter and the Lost Boys engage in dancing, wearing headdresses and other exaggerated tropes, a form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples' culture and imagery," it continues.
Disney also highlights a scene in “Dumbo," which shows crows singing a song referencing Jim Crow laws and perpetuating anti-Black stereotypes.
"The crows and musical number pay homage to racist minstrel shows, where white performers with blackened faces and tattered clothing imitated and ridiculed enslaved Africans on Southern plantations," the website reads.
The "Stories Matter" statement continues: "The leader of the group in Dumbo is Jim Crow, which shares the name of laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. In 'The Song of the Roustabouts,' faceless Black workers toil away to offensive lyrics like 'When we get our pay, we throw our money all away.'"
In November 2019, Disney provided a shorter warning for some of it 1940s and '50s movies, including "Dumbo." The warning read: "This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions."
Disney stated that rather than removing the scenes entirely, it will be using the content warning to spark conversation about harmful stereotypes and to improve its contents’ representation moving forward.
"We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we're committed to giving voice to their stories as well," the "Stories Matter" website reads.
Sources: America Now