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Fans Outraged by ‘Indianettes’ Magic Kingdom Performance Call on Disney to Do Better

Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom earlier this week were shocked to see a performance by Port Neches-Groves High School drill team, known as the “Indianettes” featuring racist chants and gestures in the Disney Park. The dance team from Port Neches, Texas, wore uniforms inspired by the school’s Indian logo, a depiction of a Native American, complete with fringe and feathers in their hair while performing down the Magic Kingdom parade route.

Credit: Disney

Fans have since taken to social media to point out the problematic nature of the routine and call for Disney to better vet school groups, and to take the new company’s new “Inclusivity” key more seriously to prevent this type of performance in the future.

Tara Houska shared a clip of the performance on Twitter, showing students on the school’s drill team wearing inappropriate Native-inspired clothing, while making motions clearly derived from caricatures of Native peoples, and even chanting “Scalp ’em” as the group made their way through the park.

While Disney in this case stepped in to ban the team’s war bonnets from appearing in front of Guests, it is worth noting that the drill team has performed at Walt Disney World on multiple occasions in the past (with their last performance in the year 2020 prior to the park’s closure), and in the past, students were allowed to wear the full uniform. Members of the Cherokee Nation have expressed their concerns and have even offered education on why the education system’s use of this imagery is offensive to local news outlets and have called on the school in the past to stop using Native representations, however, it continues to be a major part of the school’s community despite these asks.

Fans on social media have expressed disappointment and outrage not only in the school for its misuse of Native American culture but at Disney for allowing the performance to take place. Reactions from fans largely show disgust in the nature of the performance, and a desire for Disney to do better, especially when Inclusivity was recently introduced as the company’s Fifth Key.

While Disney in this case stepped in to ban the team’s war bonnets from appearing in front of Guests, it is worth noting that the drill team has performed at Walt Disney World on multiple occasions in the past (with their last performance in the year 2020 prior to the park’s closure), and in the past, students were allowed to wear the full uniform. Members of the Cherokee Nation have expressed their thoughts on the matter to local news outlets and have called on the school in the past to stop using Native representations, however, the imagery continues to be a major part of the school’s community despite these asks.

Currently an audition process is required for student groups at Walt Disney World but auditions do not always include uniforms and costumes, and they may be different than the routine performed once the group arrives.

The school has also been contacted indirectly by a number of fans regarding the performance on social media, however, the education system’s leadership team has taken to blocking accounts that negatively mention them or the high school on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: Disney has released a statement following the team’s performance. Read the statement here. 

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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