When the Disney+ streaming service was first announced it came with the reveal that the entire Disney vault would be, at one point or another, added to the streaming service for fans to watch. Later that statement was amended when it was confirmed that the controversial film Song of the South would not be available, and perhaps never will be. Speaking at the Disney shareholder meeting today, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger spoke about the decision to keep Song of the South off the platform even with a disclaimer (like what the original Dumbo has) and that there are more things from the vault that fall under the same umbrella.
"I've felt as long as I had been CEO that Song of the South was, even with a disclaimer, just not appropriate in today's world," Iger said. "That's actually true with some of the other things that we've made as well, it's jsut hard given the depictions in some of those films to bring them out today without in some form or another offending people, so we decided not to do that.
The hybrid animation/live-action film from 1946 has frequently been criticized for its racist depictions of African Americans among other troubling sequences. Despite introducing the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” to the American lexicon, which remains a staple at Disney attractions, the film hasn't seen the light of day on any home media platform domestically.
Iger went on to talk about why there are some shorts and movies from the Disney vault that have not made their way onto Disney+, revealing hiccups with digitizing some of the titles which have resulted in delays for some older titles and resulting in others never coming to the service.
"I think when I said 'The whole library' one of the things that we realized is that a lot of what was made in the past is not of the quality just in terms of the quality of the film initially when it's digitized and we're working through some of that. We also had to prioritize because there's so much that had to be digitized so we couldn't get everything on. So I think in the end when I said 'The entire library' it turns out not everything will be available because of some of those issues."
Do you agree with Disney's decision to refrain from releasing potentially offensive movies and content on Disney+ with their contextual remarks? Sound off in the comments below!