Disney+ strengthens advisory warning about racist content in classic films

Classic Disney films on the company’s streaming service will be going beyond the bare necessities when it comes to labeling racist content.

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Disney+ subscribers who watch films like “Lady and the Tramp,” “The Jungle Book” or “Peter Pan” will notice stronger advisory messages, CNN reported.

On Disney’s website, a page that is headlined “Stories Matter," explains the revised policy.

“We can’t change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of," The Walt Disney Company said on its website. “As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures.

“Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all," the statement read.

Disney announced last year when it launched Disney+ that some films would include an advisory on certain films, explaining that the movies “may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

In the original 1941 film, “Dumbo,” a group of crow characters, including one named Jim Crow, are full of racist stereotypes, Entertainment Weekly reported. The scene was not included in the live-action remake of the film released last year.

The remake of “Lady and the Tramp” that appears exclusively on Disney+ did not include the “Siamese Cat Song,” which was part of the original animated film released in 1955, EW reported.

Of the 1970 film “The Aristocats,” Disney noted that “The cat is depicted as a racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth,” CNN reported. “He sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks. This portrayal reinforces the ‘perpetual foreigner’ stereotype, while the film also features lyrics that mock the Chinese language and culture.”

The 1953 film “Peter Pan,” “portrays Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions,” Disney said.

Other films that will be tagged with advisories include “The Jungle Book,” “Fantasia,” the live-action “The Swiss Family Robinson” movie and 1992′s “Aladdin," CNN reported.

Disney said that films that require advisories will have the following notice posted before the movie’s title is introduced:

"This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. 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.

"Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.

"To learn more about how stories have impacted society, please visitwww.disney.com/StoriesMatter

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