Disney has added a new content warning label on several classic animated movies, including ‘Peter Pan,’ ‘Dumbo’, and ‘Lady and the Tramp.’
When played on the Disney+ streaming service, these films now flash up with a warning about stereotypical depictions of people of colour.
The advisories, the latest example of Hollywood’s reckoning with racism, come in the form of a short graphic on the streaming service when the older films are selected for viewing.
“This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the warning says.
“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”
The message further states that “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. “
The movie studio said that 1953 film ‘Peter Pan’ refers to Native Americans as “redskins” and that the dancing in headdresses by Peter and the Lost Boys is a “form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples’ culture and imagery.” Other films to carry the warning are The Aristocats, which shows a cat in “yellow-face” playing the piano with chopsticks.
Some animations, such as Song of the South, are not available to stream on Disney+ at all because of racism.
In November 2019, a shorter content warning was added to movies such as “Dumbo” due to racist depictions found in the films created by Disney in the 1940s and ’50s.
Other streaming sites have also made steps to acknowledge the negative portrayals of people of color in movies and shows on their services. HBO Max pulled the classic film, ‘Gone With the Wind’ from the streaming service in June but later restored the film with a notice that the film “denies the horrors of slavery.”