Paper Title

[1.1] “Racist, but not Racist Enough”: An Analysis of the Cultural Warning and the Omission of Materials in Disney Plus

Location

IB 1007

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

History | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Although Disney Plus was only released to the public on November 12th, 2019, it is already gaining a huge amount of popularity. Disney announced that they had 10 million subscribers within 24 hours of its launch, and continued to gain over a million subscribers each day since. However, as is commonly seen, with great popularity comes great controversy. In the case of Disney Plus, the subject of this controversy is the content in some of its older films, and how they continue to ethically distribute materials that are racist, sexist, or contain otherwise prejudiced themes. To try and appease the people who say they should not be distributed, Disney Plus has put cultural warnings on a few of its films, reading “This program is presented as it was originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions”. The warning has thus far been put on the original Dumbo, Peter Pan, the original Lady and the Tramp, the original Jungle Book, and the Aristocats. To take it a step further, Disney Plus has also taken the liberty of removing certain movies, most notably Song of the South, because of its racist depictions of black people. My goal is to look a bit further into the distinctions between movies that were removed, movies that received a cultural warning, and movies that were made available on Disney Plus with no warning attached to them, although they also contain inaccurate cultural representations. I will take a philosophical lens in analyzing the differences between the three categories.

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[1.1] “Racist, but not Racist Enough”: An Analysis of the Cultural Warning and the Omission of Materials in Disney Plus

IB 1007

Although Disney Plus was only released to the public on November 12th, 2019, it is already gaining a huge amount of popularity. Disney announced that they had 10 million subscribers within 24 hours of its launch, and continued to gain over a million subscribers each day since. However, as is commonly seen, with great popularity comes great controversy. In the case of Disney Plus, the subject of this controversy is the content in some of its older films, and how they continue to ethically distribute materials that are racist, sexist, or contain otherwise prejudiced themes. To try and appease the people who say they should not be distributed, Disney Plus has put cultural warnings on a few of its films, reading “This program is presented as it was originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions”. The warning has thus far been put on the original Dumbo, Peter Pan, the original Lady and the Tramp, the original Jungle Book, and the Aristocats. To take it a step further, Disney Plus has also taken the liberty of removing certain movies, most notably Song of the South, because of its racist depictions of black people. My goal is to look a bit further into the distinctions between movies that were removed, movies that received a cultural warning, and movies that were made available on Disney Plus with no warning attached to them, although they also contain inaccurate cultural representations. I will take a philosophical lens in analyzing the differences between the three categories.