Are 'Peter Pan' and 'Dumbo' racist? Disney+ pulls 7 films from kids section, Internet says 'insanity never ends'

It is also possible that 'Aladdin' and 'Pocahontas' could be labeled or removed entirely for alleged negative stereotypes


                            Are 'Peter Pan' and 'Dumbo' racist? Disney+ pulls 7 films from kids section, Internet says 'insanity never ends'
Disney+ has removed 'Peter Pan' and 'Dumbo' from children's profiles (Disney's Stories matter website)
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Disney Plus has blocked several classical films for children below seven, citing "racist stereotypes". Adults can still watch the films but will be greeted with a warning prior, while the films will not be available on kids' profiles at all. 'Dumbo', 'Fantasia' 'The Aristocats', 'Peter Pan' and 'Swiss Family Robinson' are the films being pulled currently.

The move is a part of Disney's ongoing effort to reconcile with its past when racist imagery was common in its films. In 2019, the company first started placing warnings on films with controversial content in an attempt to educate audiences. Now, it is putting the onus on parents to educate children by restricting the films. The move has not gone down well with a lot of social media users, while others have come to the defense of the Mouse House. 

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Posters of Peter Pan, Dumbo and The Aristocats (IMDb)

The warning 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." It runs for approximately 10-12 seconds before each movie. 

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Are films racist? Disney thinks so

In a statement on their Stories Matter website, the company cited the rationale behind the move. The company works with a variety of advisory teams such as Define America, Hollywood Health & Society and RespectAbility to regulate content on the service. Here is why the films are being pulled.

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'The Aristocats': The cat is depicted as a racist caricature of East Asian people with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth. This portrayal reinforces the "perpetual foreigner" stereotype, while the film also features lyrics that mock the Chinese language and culture such as "Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Foo Young. Fortune cookie always wrong."

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'Dumbo': 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. In 'The Song of the Roustabouts', faceless Black workers toil away to offensive lyrics.

'Peter Pan': 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.

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'Swiss Family Robinson': The pirates who antagonize the Robinson family are portrayed as a stereotypical foreign menace. They speak in an indecipherable language, presenting a singular and racist representation of Asian and Middle Eastern people.

Disney has also issued a warning for 'The Jungle Book' and 'Lady and the Tramp'. Despite some pushback, 'Aladdin' and 'Pocahontas' do not have it yet, but it is possible that they could be labeled or removed entirely. It is important to remember that the films aren't canceled or removed entirely. They are simply unavailable for children who are too young to understand the nuance and concerns around racist imagery that the films depict. Parents can use their profiles to show the children the movies if they want to. 

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Naturally, conservatives have taken to social media to complain about the 'cancel culture' at Disney. 

A poster of Peter Pan (IMDb)

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'Pointless bonehead politically correct move'

The company was at the receiving end of a lot of complaints on social media over the move. As one user said, "Well, there goes Dumbo. Just heard Disney+ is removing it or restricting it. Another pointless bonehead politically correct move." Another complained, "Disney+ is now blocking children under 7 from viewing Peter Pan and Dumbo because the films are supposedly racist and offensive. The insanity never ends."

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Another tweeted, "Let people judge for themselves whether they want to watch a show. Who appoints the movie police? It’s all so silly anyway. Kids wouldn’t make a daggone connection between Jim crow and the birds in Dumbo. They’d just enjoy a fun song. So stupid." One user said, "There isnt one 7yr old thats going to know that the crows in Dumbo is a potentially racist troupe unless someone tells them it is."

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Another worried if the 'cancel culture' would extend, saying, "Why do I have I have a feeling this is the year South Park gets canceled because of “cancel culture”? No more gay jokes on Family Guy? Pepé Le Pew, Dumbo, Dr. Seuss, @ginacarano? You guys are a bunch of snowflakes and were raised by a bunch of clowns."


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