Walt Disney Company announced on Thursday that it has a new advisory for older films on its streaming service, Disney Plus.
According to Disney, the company is currently in the process of reviewing its shows.
Moreover, Disney Plus will start including disclaimers to some of its old shows showing stereotypes against other cultures.
In fact, it consulted a “group of experts” not affiliated with Disney to assess their content and give them feedback on it.
The move is to make sure the company can “represent communities authentically.”
Some of Disney’s old shows depict “negative depiction or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the company said.
However, rather than removing the shows, the company decided to use the opportunity to start a discussion about them.
Peter Pan, Aristocats, and More Old Shows Will Have the Advisory
The new disclaimer for Disney Plus sounds more to the point of the shows’ stereotyping history than its old one.
The first line of its new disclaimer says, “this program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.”
It also says that those “stereotypes were wrong then” and are still wrong now.
Some of the old shows Disney decided to put their new disclaimer on are Aristocats, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinsons.
In Aristocats, a cat is depicted as a caricature of Asian people.
The cat has slanted eyes, bucked teeth, plays the piano with chopsticks, and speaks using a poor English accent.
In Peter Pan, characters call the natives the offensive term “redskins.”
The movie also portray them speaking an “unintelligible language.”
Opinion: Correcting History Does Not Mean Erasing It
In an age where cancel culture is becoming the solution to racial issues, Disney decided on a different action.
Instead of canceling its shows, Disney decided to discuss their issues.
It accepts its past wrongdoings and created ways to correct them by not erasing them and educating people instead.
In Germany, students are required to learn about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust in their history and civic classes.
According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), “Germany knows the magnitude of its responsibility” for its crimes in history.
Dr. Jan Schulte, a professor from the University of Bochum shares, in his experience, German students “make connections” between segregation in Nazi Germany and the current marginalization of groups in modern times, for example, refugees.
Compare that to Japan’s way of sanitizing its dark history and in the process, erasing other nations’ and groups of people’s stories.
Removing parts of history just because it is inappropriate or shameful now does not help anyone.
In fact, it stops the discourse about it and it possibly in time, erases them.