Disney+ has removed several classic titles from children’s profiles this week over what the streaming service has identified as racist stereotypes.
Among the disappearing titles are “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” and “The Aristocats.”
The Walt Disney Company had previously begun placing content warnings on the films back in October for “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people and cultures.” Now the company has removed access to the films altogether from any profiles of children under the age of 7.
Adults with Disney+ profiles can still access the classic films with the content warnings.
On their website, Disney emphasized its commitment to continued awareness on critical issues and shifting perceptions, adding that the four classic titles were removed for the following reasons:
“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.”
“Peter Pan” (1953):
“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.”
“Swiss Family Robinson” (1960):
“The pirates who antagonize the Robinson family are portrayed as a stereotypical foreign menace. Many appear in ‘yellow face’ or ‘brown face’ and are costumed in an exaggerated and inaccurate manner with top knot hairstyles, queues, robes and overdone facial make-up and jewelry, reinforcing their barbarism and ‘otherness.’”
“The Aristocats” (1970):
“The (Siamese) cat (Shun Gon) is depicted as a racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth. He sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks.”
Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.
“As storytellers, we have the power and responsibility to not only uplift and inspire, but also consciously, purposefully and relentlessly champion the spectrum of voices and perspectives in our world.”
To learn more, visit www.Disney.com/StoriesMatter.