Entertainment

As Disney+ Launches, Here Are Some Of The Offensive Movies And Scenes You Might Or Might Not See On The Platform

On November 12th, Disney launched its much-anticipated streaming service Disney+, a platform that offers over 7,000 television episodes and 500 films of Disney titles to its subscribers. And while the influx of beloved Disney content is exciting, some Disney fans can’t help but cringe at the outdated, stereotypical tropes that some of the House of Mouse’s older content employed. And while racist tropes and offensive stereotypes were par for the course decades ago, we are now living in a world where sensitive cultural representation in the media is of the utmost importance. 

Aware of people’s lowered tolerance for racism in their entertainment, Disney+ has issued content warnings on some of their titles. The warning reads: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions”. And while some are applauding Disney for acknowledging the problematic nature of some of their content, others don’t think that a mere content warning is enough. Others are calling for Disney to make a greater effort to reckon with their problematic legacy. In light of these development, here are seven of the most racist moments in Disney movies that you can look out for when deciding on your next Disney+ viewing.

1. The Siamese Cats in “Lady and the Tramp”

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When “Lady and the Tramp” was released in 1955, it wasn’t unusual for the entertainment industry to create characters based on offensive stereotypes of what they believed people of Asian descent acted like. One of the most offensive instances of this were there characters “Si” and “Am” in “Lady and the Tramp”–two mischievous and troublesome cats who come into Lady’s home and make a mess, which Lady is ultimately blamed for. It doesn’t help that the cats are illustrated with slanted eyes and sing with broken accents. 

2. Everything about “Song of the South”

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Probably the most offensive and problematic of all Disney movies, “Song of the South” was released in 1946. It follows the story of a young boy who befriends Uncle Remus, a former slave who teaches him about life through a series of fables. The movie is upsetting for many reasons, one of which is the way the movie expresses nostalgia for the pre-Civil War way of life–which even the movie’s black characters seem to long for. The song “Song of the South” is the perfect example of this, where a black choir sings, “This heart of mine is in the heart of Dixie. That’s where I belong”. 

3. The Crows in “Dumbo”

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The crows in “Dumbo” are a play on blackface minstrel characters that much of the American audience would’ve been familiar with at the time of “Dumbo”‘s release in 1941. To add insult to injury, the character of Jim Crow (yes, that’s actually his name), was voiced by white actor Cliff Edwards, voicing an exaggerated version of a stereotypical black Southern voice. In “Dumbo”, Jim is depicted as lazy, dumb, and indulgent. This offensive stereotype of black people was well-known in the South. 

4. Sunflower in “Fantasia”

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In the original “Fantasia” released in 1940, the movie features a little black character named Sunflower. Sunflower was a black little girl with the body of a donkey. She was drawn with dark skin, an over-exaggerated nose and lips and braids in her hair. From her brief appearance in the movie, her apparent purpose in life was to help the glamorous white centaurs with their beauty routine (she was shown as filing the nails of a centaur). In later version, her character was cropped out completely of the movie to avoid a public outcry. 

5. “What Makes a Red Man Red?” in “Peter Pan”

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The racism inherent in “Peter Pan” is laid out plainly in the song “What Makes a Red Man Red?” that Neverland’s tribe of Native Americans sings to explain their history to the Lost Boys. The song is meant to be the origin story of how Native Americans got their skin color. The lyrics are as follows: “Let’s go back a million years/To the very first Injun prince/He kissed a maid and start to blush/And we’ve all been blushin’ since”. 

6. “Arabian Nights” in “Aladdin”

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Critics of “Aladdin” have long called the movie problematic for the way it depicts people of Middle Eastern descent and how it fails to illustrate the differences between various Middle Eastern cultures. Instead, the Kingdom of Agraba is a mish-mash of various cultures of the Middle East which implies that the cultures are interchangeable. And don’t forget the most problematic pat of the movie, the song “Arabian Nights” that contains the following lyrics: “I come from a land…Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home”.

7. Shun Gon in “The Aristocats”

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The Chinese cat Shun Gon in “The Aristocats” is another prime example of a racist character that Disney employed in their earlier movies. Shun Gon is a member of O’Malley the Alley Cat’s street gang. He speaks in broken English, has slanted eyes and prominent teeth, and plays the piano with chopsticks. In other words, it doesn’t get more offensive that this. 

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Diego Luna’s ‘Pan Y Circo’ Is Tackling Major Issues Around The Dinner Table

Culture

Diego Luna’s ‘Pan Y Circo’ Is Tackling Major Issues Around The Dinner Table

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Diego Luna is more than just an actor. Luna is using his name and his fame to create a space for important ideas to be discussed. His new show “Pan Y Circo” on Amazon Prime is tackling the major issues.

Diego Luna’s “Pan y Circo” is an in-your-face show tackling major issues confronting society.

“Pan y Circo” is a new Amazon Prime show created by Mexican actor Diego Luna. The actor has a table of people including politicians, activists, and entertainers. The first episode focuses on race, a topic that is seeing some global attention following recent events. The discussion got frank with Luna admitting that he has benefited from the system as it stood.

The dinner party atmosphere is something that we can relate to further drawing us into the conversation.

For Luna, according to the LA Times, the dinner conversations are a cal back to a tie when these kinds of hard discussions happened over dinner. This was a time when these kinds of conversations were taken for granted because they were so common that it was normal.

The topics are going to be tough for many in the Latino community because they are so frank.

Abortion is one of the most taboo conversations in the Latino community. The topic is something the divides the Latino community, most commonly on generational lines. Luna’s decision to take this conversation to the mainstream is a major moment for the Latino community.

The first episode of “Pan y Circo” is out now on Amazon.

The next episode will be out on Friday, August 14.

READ: Diego Luna Talks The Importance Of The Storytelling In ‘Narcos: Mexico’ And Why Mexico City Will Always Be His Home

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‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Entertainment

‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

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Shia LeBeouf is in the new movie “The Tax Collector” and people are accusing him of brownface for this role. The actor takes on the accent for the role and got a chest tattoo to do the role authentically. For some, it is cultural appropriation and it has started a debate.

Shia LeBeouf is the man in “The Tax Collector” and people have questions.

The pulse-pounding trailer has all of the action you can handle so you can only imagine what the full movie is like. The movie is all about the tax collector having to fight to protect his family when a rival takes over his turf. LeBeouf is ready to do whatever it takes to save his family.

Some people are very upset about the role for LeBeouf.

The tattoos and the accent are too much for people. Some have argued that the role was not at all a way of cultural appropriation. Instead, LeBeouf is playing a white role that happens to have grown up in a neighborhood where he picked up the accent and a certain way of dress.

The argument is going both ways with people fighting to defend him.

While the role could be really problematic for some, others see themselves reflected in it. There are many people defending LeBeouf because they too grow up in a neighborhood and took on the culture of the neighborhood.

The director of the film, David Ayer, spoke out saying that LeBeouf is not in brownface.

“He’s a white guy playing a white guy. He’s not taking anyone’s work away,” Ayer told the LA Times to calm the critics.

What do you think?

READ: Bon Appétit Editor Adam Rapoport Resigns Over Brownface Scandal

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