Disney+ removes Dumbo, Peter Pan, Aristocats & more from kids menu, citing ‘wrongful stereotypes’

Disney+ has reportedly decided to remove several classic movies from the kids’ online menu because of what the company considers wrongful stereotypes. Those under age 7 will no longer be able to access through their own app profiles such animated or live-action films such as Dumbo, Peter Pan, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Aristocats.

The elephant in the room, as it were, constitutes “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” Disney+ explained.

While the iconic titles are still accessible to everyone else (at least for now), they come with a warning about their purported harmful impact.

“More like Disney minus,” the New York Post quipped about the latest apparent manifestation of the cancel culture, although the media company insists it is not removing content.

On its “Stories Matter” website, Disney+ explained its thought process in an ongoing library review process as part of a diversity and inclusion initiative, although it doesn’t appear to address the reported 7-and-under restriction.

With regard to Dumbo (1941), “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 leader of the group in Dumbo is Jim Crow, which shares the name of laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.”

As far as Peter Pan (1953) is concerned, “The film portrays Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions,” Disney+ explained.

Swiss Family Robinson (1960) is flagged for presenting a “stereotypical foreign menace.”

Disney+ explained on the page it is relying on a group of outside experts to provide content advice to “ensure [content] accurately represents our global audience.”

The family-friendly streaming service has reportedly signed up about 100 million subscribers worldwide in less than a year and a half of operation.

While it may have point that some of the content is offensive by todays’ standards, others — particularly those who perceive woke corporate America undermining free speech — would argue that it is unfair to retroactively apply contemporary norms to vintage works of art.

Disney (through its Lucasfilm subsidiary) is the same enterprise that fired Mandalorian actress Gina Carano after a controversial and subsequently-deleted Instagram post that apparently sought to compare Germany’s former genocidal dictatorship with the polarized political situation in contemporary America.

Although that post was perhaps ill-advised, Lucasfilm never took any action when a Mandalorian co-star previously tweeted out Holocaust imagery, however. to smear then-President Donald Trump.

Separately, the works of Dr. Seuss’s children’s books have come under scrutiny, with the author’s estate pulling six of them from circulation because of “hurtful and wrong” imagery.

 

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Robert Jonathan

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