Disney Plus adds warning to old movies and shows over racist stereotypes

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 19, 2020, 5:09pm CDT
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Disney Plus adds warning to old movies and shows over racist stereotypes

Disney is the latest company to show educational content warnings before select movies that feature depictions of racism and stereotypes. The warning label directs viewers who are interested in knowing more to a new Disney website that includes details on which movies have received the content warnings and the reasons for the new labels.

Disney previously featured content warnings on some of its older movies, which were and still are made available unedited on its streaming service — with the exception of Song of the South, which hasn’t seen the light of day for decades. However, the company was criticized over its previous content warning, which some felt was too vague and buried.

Before, users would see the content warning after the movie; it merely stated that the movie ‘may contain outdated cultural depictions.’ That has changed, however, with Disney Plus rolling out a new content warning that is 12-seconds long and that plays — unskippable — before the movie starts. The warning label reads:

This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. 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.

The content featuring this warning label, which includes a link to the ‘Stories Matter’ section of The Walt Disney Company website, includes the Aristocats, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson. Disney explains the issues with each of these movies, including things like presenting languages and customs that never existed, paying home to minstrel shows, and more.


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