Entertainment

Disney’s Splash Mountain To Be Re-Themed To ‘Princess And The Frog’

Update June 25, 2020, 1:00 p.m. PST: Disney is the latest company to stand by its commitment to stand with BLM, it seems. The famed Splash Mountain ride in Disney World and Disneyland will be revamped to purge the park of a standing monument to racist film “Song of the South.” Instead, the ride will now be used to promote “Princess and the Frog.”

It’s official. Disney World and Disneyland are erasing a part of Disney’s racist history.

Splash Mountain is easily one of Disney’s most recognizable attractions. The log flume ride is a relic of Disney’s most racist film “Song of the South.” The 1946 film is so problematic that the company keeps the film locked away. After a petition with tens of thousands of signatures, Disney has announced that the ride will now be re-themed to reflect “Princess and the Frog.”

“It speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year,” a spokesperson for Disney told CNN Money. They added: “Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou.”

The news has received mixed responses of support and anger but others are surprised to learn the truth behind the ride.

Some Disney fans were completely unaware of the history behind Splash Mountain. The long-standing ride stood as a lasting reminder of Disney’s long history of racism in their cartoons and entertainment. Some of it has been so subtle that fans are just learning about it. It is a problem the world, especially entertainment, is being forced to confront and do better.

Original: BLM is coming for you Disney.

On Wednesday, supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement petitioned Disney to remove its Splash Mountain ride and to have all of its related themes changed at the company’s parks. In the true style of Disney fans, pitches about how to change the problematic ride are being floated and shared on Twitter so much to the point that a call for change is now trending on Twitter.

On Wednesday, Disney fans managed to get #PrincessAndTheFrog trending on Twitter as an option to replace Slash Mountain.

Currently, Splash Mountain is an attraction featured at both Disneyland and Disney World.

The ride draws themes from Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South which is likely one of the most problematic movies Disney has ever produced. It revolves around the character Johnny, a seven-year-old boy living in the Reconstruction-era South (the 1860s and 1870s) who befriends a former slave named Uncle Remus who now works on a plantation. The film’s problems come about primarily at points in which it paints the relationship between Uncle Remus and his white employers as one between a willing Black man happily living and working on a plantation in which he was formerly enslaved. The film is best known by those unfamiliar with the movie for its song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.”

Song of the South is a film that Disney has, in recent decades, distanced itself from quite a bit in recent years. In fact, late last year we reported the production company’s plans to keep it from being available on its Disney + streaming service.

In an effort to make the change, users created a petition on Change.org.

So far the petition has 351 signatures to change the theme to the Princess and The Frog. If you’ve yet to see the Disney classic, check it out! The film centers around Tiana, Disney’s first-ever Black princess. In the film, Tiana is on a mission to pursue her dreams to open up a restaurant in New Orleans. Things come to a head when she is faced with a massive detour when she meets Prince Naveen, a spoiled man who has been turned into a frog.

“There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need. Princess and the Frog is a beloved princess movie but has very little representation in the parks. Tiana could be one of the first princesses with a thrill ride, as well as giving her a much-deserved place in the parks. The framing of the ride is such that it could be easily changed to tell the story of Tiana while not compromising too much of the ride/costing a fortune in remodeling for Disney. This change could kill two birds with one stone, remove the offensive stereotypical theming the ride currently has and bring a much-needed diversity to the parks. As well as a much bigger merchandising opportunity for Princess and the Frog,” reads the description of the Change.org mission.

Fans of the idea of removing Splash Mountain and replacing it with The Princess and The Frog have even created templates to push for the change.

And they’re pretty incredible!

The concepts fans are coming up with for the park are pretty incredible and also inspiring. Primarily because the idea of children being exposed to the first Black themed attraction at Disney is so exciting and uplifting. In the future, children who enter a Princess and the Frog theme park will feel celebrated and included in an Entertainment realm so beloved and prevalent in our world. Here’s hoping Disney listens to the voices of petitioners and signs up for what they’d like as well.

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Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Things That Matter

Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Ever notice how on some social platforms like Twitter or Instagram that you yourself are mysteriously unable to crop your display images on your own? That’s because Twitter prefers to let their algorithms make the decision. Over the weekend users on Twitter discovered the surprising dangers of letting algorithms crop your own images.

Education tech researcher Colin Madland drew attention to the issue while speaking out about how the video-calling program Zoom, often crops the head out of his black person coworker while on calls.

It didn’t take long for Madland and other users to discover that Twitter’s AIs use discriminatory equations to prioritize certain faces as well. In short, the social platform’s AIs prefer white faces over Black ones.

In response to the discoveries, a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged that the company was looking into the issue “Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing. But it’s clear from these examples that we’ve got more analysis to do. We’re looking into this and will continue to share what we learn and what actions we take,” they stated.

Of course, Madland’s discovery is nothing new. In 2019, test results from the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed that some of the strongest algorithms online were much more likely to confuse the faces of Black women than those of white women, or Black or white men. “The NIST test challenged algorithms to verify that two photos showed the same face, similar to how a border agent would check passports,” Wired points out. “At sensitivity settings where Idemia’s algorithms falsely matched different white women’s faces at a rate of one in 10,000, it falsely matched black women’s faces about once in 1,000—10 times more frequently. A one in 10,000 false match rate is often used to evaluate facial recognition systems.”

Still, it didn’t take long for users on the platform to ask what other physical preferences Twitter has.

Turns out the AIs prefer Ted Cruz with large anime breasts over a normal-looking Ted Cruz.

(To better understand this Tweet, click the link above)

The user who tested the image of Cruz, found that Twitter’s algorithm on the back end selected what part of the picture it would showcase in the preview and ultimately chose both images of Cruz with a large anime chest.

It’s nothing new that Twitter has its massive problems.

For a platform that so controls and oversees so much of what we consume and how we now operate, it’s scary to know how Twitter chooses to display people with different skin tones. The round of jokes and Twitter experiments by users has only revived concerns on how “learning” computer algorithms fuel real-world biases like racism and sexism.

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Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Entertainment

Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Nickelodeon

It’s no secret that over the past few decades, people of color worked to fight for equal representation on screens both big and small. While, of course, there have been great POC and LGTBQ relationships on television there’s really been a spike in the spectrum of representation since our early years watching television and learning about relationships.

Recently, we asked Latinas on Instagram what shows and movies featured their favorite most diverse couples.

And the answers threw us for a time loop!

Check them out below!


“Maria and Luis on Sesame Street.”- melissa_phillips71


“Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner is The Bodyguard, they reminded me of my parents and they loved to play the soundtrack.” –millenialmarta


“The leads in Someone Great, Jane and Michael the virgin and the lesbian relationship Gentrified. It’s been 30 years and I finally found characters I can relate to.” –allyss_abyss_

“Most definitely, “Brooklyn 99”: two female Hispanics as regulars and a white person playing a Hispanic (Andy Samberg’s character’s last name is Peralta, which is a Spanish surname).” – seadra2011

“Holt and Kevin(and Rosa Diaz) have changed the way people have perceived gay couples and gay people. Nine Nine!” –chaoticbiguy


“The first on-screen presence that made me feel seen/represented period was @justinamachado ‘s character on One Day At A Time. A Latina veteran struggling with her mental health while trying to juggle school, work, love, and family? And as a main character? Whew….“-vieja.metiche

“Taína! It was on Disney if I remember correctly?? Then @americaferrera in sisterhood of the traveling pants as Carmen. 😭❤️ her life was like mine. Growing up in suburbs but never really having a place culturally.. but my girlfriends still had my back no matter our background.” –chessy__a

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