Over the past few years, we’ve seen streaming companies either remove programs that featured negative stereotypes or include some form of disclaimer, and if you’ve watched a few of Disney’s older classics on Disney+ lately, you may have noticed a brand-new disclaimer on certain titles.
In front of films such as PETER PAN, DUMBO, THE ARISTOCATS, and SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, audiences will find a new disclaimer that reads, “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 streaming service did include a shorter disclaimer on certain titles last year, but the new one is much more in-depth and plays for 12 seconds before the content in question. In a further statement, Disney added:
As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures. Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re committed to giving voice to their stories as well. 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.
Disney also explained some of the negative depictions of race found in these films, such as the portrayal of Native American people in PETER PAN. “The film portrays Native people in a stereotypical manner that reflects neither the diversity of Native peoples nor their authentic cultural traditions,” Disney explains. “It shows them speaking in an unintelligible language and repeatedly refers to them as “redskins,” an offensive term. Peter and the Lost Boys engage in dancing, wearing headdresses and other exaggerated tropes, a form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples’ culture and imagery.“