A t-shirt seen at Walt Disney World recently incited the rage of many Disney fans, with many calling it “pathetic” and “racist.”
Splash Mountain saw its last day last week, yet fans are having a hard time accepting its closure. Even after the ride was gone, many took to Twitter, still petitioning to #SaveSplashMountain and imploring Disney to keep the classic fan-favorite right where it is.
One of the biggest critiques of Splash Mountain has been the criticism of the movie it’s based on, Song of the South. The movie is said to have racist depictions of African American people, and the famous song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” is allegedly based on a racist civil war anthem. Fans are historically incredibly divided on whether the movie is truly racist, whether it should be used as a learning tool, and how Disney should handle it; however, while Disney has taken steps to move away from being associated with it, fans keep bringing it back.
One Twitter user shared a photo of a Disney Guest wearing Splash Mountain merch with highlights from the movie on it, questioning the choice to have the shirt on in public. The user asked,
Dawg, what? That movie is racist, why do you have a shirt for it?
Dawg, what? That movie is racist, why do you have a shirt for it? pic.twitter.com/YppQTwqR8c
— marky marc and the funky bunch. (@NoEmotionMackie) January 24, 2023
As with anything to do Splash Mountain has done in the past, the shirt sparked an intense debate about the t-shirt and its appropriateness in Walt Disney World Resort. Some fans immediately expressed this behavior was “pathetic,” and @dimplesnpetals even said, “the ride closing is starting to reveal people’s true colors.”
A large majority of the comments were focused on calling out the thoughtlessness of the t-shirt and calling it out for promoting racist depictions.
Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, others responded saying, “I want this shirt! How do I get one?” and one user, David Lehman, added, “If people only knew. Song of the South was written [by] an African American about slavery. It is an amazing movie. I’m so glad I have a copy of it!”
The controversy surrounding Splash Mountain was widespread in the days leading up to its closure, and it’s interesting to note that hasn’t disappeared even with the actual closing of the ride. Perhaps when rides are as beloved as Splash Mountain, this is par for the course at Walt Disney World.
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