Walt Disney Company recently launched a new streaming service called Disney Plus and it’s been generating a surprising amount of interest in my social media timeline. Quite a few people I follow have been commenting on it, asking questions and (mostly) proclaiming what a great idea this is. I suppose if you have kids or are just a kid at heart there’s a definite appeal.
But this is 2019, and not even something as simple as an old Disney classic cartoon feature can be trotted out without some sort of woke controversy. Apparently aware of the climate among social justice warriors out there, Disney has proactively decided to ward off complaints by adding warnings to many of their traditional features, letting viewers know that the content may contain “outdated cultural depictions.” (CNET)
Times have changed over the span of Disney’s decades of dominance in entertainment, and with Tuesday’s launch of Disney Plus, the company is finding it must contend with the not-so-pretty elements of its past.
As part of the new streaming service, Disney has added disclaimers to movies such as Dumbo, The Jungle Book and Lady and the Tramp warning of “outdated cultural depictions.” A plot description for Dumbo, for example, ends with: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
A handful of older Disney films have been criticized for incorporating racist stereotypes with characters like King Louie in The Jungle Book and the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp.