Home Entertainment Disney Plus ramps up warnings on classic films containing ‘negative stereotypes’: ‘Wrong...

Disney Plus ramps up warnings on classic films containing ‘negative stereotypes’: ‘Wrong then, wrong now’

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The Lady And The Tramp
Films like Lady And The Tramp perpetuate racist stereotypes (Picture: FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty )

Disney Plus has added new warnings to some of its classic titles, telling viewers that they contain racist stereotypes.

The streaming service introduced a content advisory notice on some of its older animated films, reading: ‘This programme is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.’

However, the message has now been strengthened to explain that some of the films contain negative stereotypes.

Ahead of films including Lady And The Tramp, Dumbo and The Jungle Book, a warning now reads: ‘This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.

‘These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.’

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The message adds that Disney Plus wants to ‘acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together’ rather than remove the titles.

The Aristocats
The warning on The Aristocats has also been strengthened (Picture: FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

Lady And The Tramp features several instances of racism, including its Siamese cat characters perpetuating anti-Asian stereotypes, while The Aristocats shows a cat in yellowface playing the piano with chopsticks.

Peter Pan, which also carries the warning, sees Native Americans referred to as ‘redskins’, while there has been controversy over the crows in Dumbo, with one bird named Jim Crow after the laws enforcing racial segregation and the crows having exaggerated stereotypical Black voices. 

Disney Plus chose not to include its 1946 film Song Of The South on its platform, with the film never having been released on video or DVD either.

The character of plantation worker Uncle Remus perpetuates the myth that slaves were happy working in the cotton fields.

Over the past year, a number of streaming services have added warnings to titles or removed them altogether, as they were seen to have aged badly and perpetuated racist and homophobic beliefs.

HBO Max briefly took down the classic movie Gone With The Wind, before updating with a content warning telling viewers that it ‘denies the horrors of slavery’.

Meanwhile, Netflix and iPlayer removed Little Britain from their libraries, saying ‘times had changed’ since the show – which sees Matt Lucas and David Walliams in costumes portraying different races – first aired.

MORE: Sideman says BBC can’t push race issues ‘under the rug’ after quitting Radio 1Xtra over racial slur

MORE: Fury as Dr Hilary Jones tells parents separated from children in tier 2: ‘It’s not the end of the world’

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