Story at a glance

  • Several Disney films contain racist content, including slurs, blackface and minstrelsy.
  • On the studio’s streaming platform, these movies now appear with a warning acknowledging that these "stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now."
  • Other major studios have already added similar warnings.

If you weren’t the butt of the joke, you might not have noticed some of the blatant racism in the classic Disney movies of your childhood. But from the lens of 2021, the slurs, black and brownface and other casual acts of racism are painfully obvious. 


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Disney has made the conscious decision not to remove the content, instead opting for an updated content warning ahead of movies like “Aristocats,” “Peter Pan,” “Dumbo” and “The Swiss Family Robinson”: “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.”

The link takes you to a website that acknowledges the harm done by these depictions, potentially internalizing racist stereotypes for an entire generation of children. Several of these titles are now no longer available on the kids profile that allows adults to restrict the content their children can browse. 

"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," said the studio, which previously only included the disclaimer in the description box.  


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Disney’s handling of racist content has been compared to that of other studios, such as Warner Bros., which acquired the children’s series “Tom and Jerry” from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and added a similar disclaimer.

“The Tom and Jerry episodes included in this collection comes to us from a time when racial and ethnic differences were caricatured in the name of entertainment,” Whoopi Goldberg says in an introduction along with the DVD Box Set version of the series. “These prejudices were wrong then and they’re wrong today.”   


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Published on Jan 25, 2021