Disney+ warns users older movies have ‘outdated cultural depictions’


  • Disney+
  • Friday, 15 Nov 2019

A file photo of a man looking at a Jungle Book movie poster. Films like Dumbo, The Aristocats and Jungle Book, some of which were made nearly 80 years ago, offer a disclaimer saying, 'This programme is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions'. — AP

LOS ANGELES: The newly launched Disney+ has no shortage of content, ranging from original animated classics to live-action remakes and Star Wars offshoot The Mandalorian. With that deep library, Disney is offering a warning that some of the streaming platform's older content has "outdated cultural depictions".

Films like Dumbo, The Aristocats, Lady And The Tramp and Jungle Book, some of which were made nearly 80 years ago, offer a disclaimer saying, "This programme is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions". Since its initial release in 1941, Dumbo has been criticised for including a version of vocal blackface, while The Aristocats and Peter Pan have been the subject of scrutiny for racist depictions of characters.

Before such movies plays, another message appears that reads, "The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While these cartoons do not represent today's society, they are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed."

Disney's controversial 1946 film Song Of The South, which inspired the ride Splash Mountain and features the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, is entirely absent from the platform, presumably due to criticism for its depiction of freed slaves.

Disney+ currently offers over 500 films and television shows. Since its launch on Nov 12, the streaming service has signed up over 10 million users. – Variety/Reuters

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