Is Peter Pan racist? Disney+ blocks movies from children's section, Internet says 'world is getting crazier'
It is hard to imagine a childhood without the charming, captivating fairytale of Peter Pan - the boy who was brought to life on screen by Disney. However, kids from this generation might have to do without Peter Pan and a few other Disney classics like Dumbo, The Aristocats, and Swiss Family Robinson, as recently Disney+ removed such films from the children’s section. The films reportedly violated the recently implemented content advisories for having racist connotations in their storyline and dialogues.
Why did Disney+ block Peter Pan & other movies?
The online streaming platform Disney+ blocked children below the age of seven to watch the 1953 classic Peter Pan. Other family favorite movies like Dumbo, The Aristocats, and Swiss Family Robinson have also been removed from the children’s accounts.
Disney+ revised their content advisory in October to make their content more streamlined and free of problematic portrayals, in accordance with the changing societal attitude of the audience. The animated classics like Peter Pan and Dumbo came under the scanner for portraying racial stereotypes that are offensive to diverse racial identities. The ban and censoring were brought on by a group of external experts who assessed if the content ‘represented global audiences’. The films now remain available on the adult accounts, with the disclaimer - “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”
‘Peter Pan’ has been removed since it features a Native American tribe who are referred to as "redskins" – a dated and offensive terminology.
The 1941 movie ‘Dumbo’, a favorite among children and parents alike, was removed for wrongfully portraying African-Americans who were enslaved on Southern plantations. During a musical interlude, faceless black workers can be seen working hard to offensive lyrics like “ ‘When we get our pay, we throw our money all away”.
In the 1970 movie ‘The Aristocats’, there was a Siamese cat character by the name of Shun Gon. The character has come under wrath for being a rather ‘crass’ caricature of East Asian people, with his slanted eyes and prominent teeth. The 1960 movie Swiss Family Robinson also has problematic scenes with "yellow face" and "brown face" pirates, which have been criticized for perpetuating racial stereotypes.
Reactions from parents
A statement issued by Disney on their website speaks about their commitment to create inspirational stories that celebrate the diversity of the human experience across the world. The statement mentions that though the past cannot be altered, it can be acknowledged and learned from, to move forward towards a better tomorrow. “‘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,” says the statement. Though parents were initially shocked by the sudden removal and blocking of these classics on the streaming service, they have welcomed the progressive move.
"The "Red Man" song in Peter Pan is legit racist. I love the film, but yeah, no, that's not hysteria. It is racist," wrote one Twitter user.
The "Red Man" song in Peter Pan is legit racist. I love the film, but yeah, no, that's not hysteria. It is racist.— Dept. of Wokeness Studies (@DeptStudies) January 25, 2021
However, not every viewer was pleased with Disney's move. "‘World is getting crazier every day’: Users vexed as Disney+ axes 'racist' Peter Pan, Dumbo - Sputnik," reported Sputnik International. One user agreed on racism in old Disney movies but did not agree on the ban. "I mean Peter Pan is racist, in fact so is most old Disney movies but to stop kids watching kids movies is kinda dumb." "Wow you people don’t cease to amaze me. Peter Pan. Dumbo. AND aristocats are getting banned from @disneyplus
for being racist?? What In the actual f*ck. Swear I wish I was born in a different time cause this is completely bullshit. You damn snowflakes," one user did not hold back in slamming Disney.
‘World is getting crazier every day’: Users vexed as Disney+ axes 'racist' Peter Pan, Dumbo - Sputnik https://t.co/AAlNxBwKk1— BreakinNewz (@BreakinNewz01) January 24, 2021
I mean Peter Pan is racist, in fact so is most old Disney movies but to stop kids watching kids movies is kinda dumb. https://t.co/iDM1Uflbdh— Matthew Hain (@MatthewHain11) January 24, 2021
Wow you people don’t cease to amaze me. Peter Pan. Dumbo. AND aristocats are getting banned from @disneyplus for being racist?? What In the actual fuck. Swear I wish I was born in a different time cause this is completely bullshit. You damn snowflakes.— 𝒥ℴ𝓇𝒹𝒶𝓃 (@JordanMich3ll3) January 24, 2021