Even before the Disney+ streaming service first launched The Walt Disney Company wasn't entirely clear on how they would be handling some of their older features that include scenes, moments, and characters that are clearly problematic by today's world; though they ruled out an appearance by Song of the South immediately and haven't swayed from that. In the days after the service launched many of its movies with controversial elements simply had a disclaimer on their landing page before pressing play, but now Disney has added a 12 second warning on screen before the movie itself begins. It reads:
"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 visit www.disney.com/StoriesMatter."
Visiting the Stories Matter website reveals the full initiative from Diseny for adding content warnings to films and content "that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures," but also their commitment to giving voices to communities that "have been erased or forgotten altogether" and creating an outside council of experts to assist them in reviewing their content. Members of the council include The AAFCA, CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), Define American, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, GLAAD Media Institute, Hollywood, Health & Society, IllumiNative, NALIP, RespectAbility, The Science & Entertainment Exchange, and Tanenbaum.
The Stories Matter page also includes examples of some of the films that will get the above label played ahead of them on Disney+ and why. Some of the older movies they spotlight include Aristocats (labeled for using "racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits"), Dumbo ("paying homage to racist minstrel shows"), Peter Pan ("portrays Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions"), and the live-action Swiss Family Robinson (for use of "yellow face" and "brown face" and "racist representation of Asian and Middle Eastern peoples").
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