Disney+ has blocked anyone under the age of seven from watching the animated classic cartoons on its streaming service over concerns that it portrays racial stereotypes.
The online streaming platform revised their content advisory in October to make their content more streamlined and free of problematic portrayals, in accordance with the changing societal attitude of the audience. The animated classics like Peter Pan and Dumbo came under the scanner for portraying racial stereotypes that are offensive to diverse racial identities. The ban and censoring were brought on by a group of external experts who assessed if the content ‘represented global audiences’. The films now remain available on the adult accounts, with the disclaimer – “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”
Why Peter Pan?
The main reason behind Peter Pan being blocked is because it features a Native American tribe whose members are referred to as ‘redskins’.
Dumbo, the 1941 cartoon about a lovable flying elephant, has been accused of ridiculing enslaved African-Americans on Southern plantations. At one point during a musical interlude, faceless black workers toil away to offensive lyrics such as, ‘When we get our pay, we throw our money all away’.
Why the Aristocats?
It has a Siamese cat character called Shun Gon, whose slanted eyes and prominent teeth have been described as a caricature of East Asian people.