disney+ blocks children from watching dumbo and peter pan due to ‘offensive stereotypes’

No More Dumbo And Peter Pan>

No More Dumbo And Peter Pan

by Muthoni Kimani January 27, 2021

Generations of children have been charmed by the magical tale of the boy who never grew up, but Peter Pan is now on a list of banned movies.

Unfortunately, Disney has blocked anyone under the age of seven from watching the 1953 animated classic on its streaming service over concerns that it portrays racial discrimination. The list also includes The Aristocats, Swiss Family Robinson and Dumbo they have all been removed from children’s accounts for breaching ‘content advisories’ that were recently put in place.

The main reason behind Peter Pan being blocked is that it features a Native American tribe whose members are referred to as ‘redskins’. Meanwhile, the 1970 movie The Aristocats has a Siamese cat character called Shun Gon, whose slanted eyes and prominent teeth have been described as a caricature of East Asian people. Swiss Family Robinson, which was made in 1960, has been criticised for its ‘yellowface’ and ‘brownface’ pirates.

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’.

Disney implemented a revised content advisory to flag up any issues surrounding racial stereotypes and concerns were raised concerning Peter Pan and the other productions. The decision to ban the films from children’s accounts was made by a group of external experts who were brought in to assess if the content ‘represented global audiences’.

While the films remain available on adult accounts, they come with a disclaimer that says: ‘This programme includes negative depictions and 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.’

On its website, Disney says that it is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the diversity of the human experience around the globe.

The statement reads: “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.”