According to SFGate.com, Disney’s new streaming service has added a disclaimer to “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan” and other classics because they depict racist stereotypes, underscoring a challenge media companies face when they resurrect older movies in modern times.
The move comes as Disney Plus seems to be an instant hit. It attracted 10 million subscribers in just one day. The disclaimer reads, “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Companies have been grappling for years with how to address stereotypes that were in TV shows and movies decades ago but look jarring today. Streaming brings the problem to the fore.
In “Dumbo,” from 1941, crows that help Dumbo learn to fly are depicted with exaggerated black stereotypical voices. The lead crow’s name is “Jim Crow,” a term that describes a set of laws that legalized segregation. In “Peter Pan,” from 1953, Native American characters are caricatured. Other Disney movies with the disclaimer include “The Jungle Book” and “Swiss Family Robinson.”
“Pocahontas” and “Aladdin” do not have it, despite rumblings by some that those films contain stereotypes, too.