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‘Stories Matter’ Team Scans Disney Movies for ‘Offensive’ Characters

The Walt Disney Company has been criticized lately by both Florida’s governor and its Disney Park Guests for its “woke” perspective, but Disney seems to be continuing on a determined path towards constant “political correctness” despite the negative feedback from Disney fans. Disney’s special “Stories Matter” team has been analyzing old Disney content since 2019 to identify any “problematic” characters from the archives, and the New York Times has just shed some more light on the team’s work!

Disney Plus

The streaming service Disney+. Credit: Disney

The fact that many old Disney movies or Disney shows contain “offensive” content will not be surprising to many Disney fans. However, since the Walt Disney Company is focusing more and more on its effort to “offend no one”, several more classic Disney characters have been flagged by Stories Matter team members due to the negative depictions, exaggerated tropes, or “offensive” portrayals that they involve.

dumbo

The crows in ‘Dumbo’ were flagged by the Stories Matter team.

Even if a Disney film or Disney character is considered offensive, the characters and their movies will still be shown on Disney+ (albeit with a disclaimer before the movie or show starts streaming). On the Stories Matter website, Disney has clarified why old movies aren’t being removed from Disney+ with the following statement:

“As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures. Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re committed to giving voice to their stories as well.”

Not everyone within the Walt Disney Company is thrilled about this review of the Disney archives. According to the New York Times, “one of the executives worried that looking at artistic creations through a ‘politically correct filter’ could chill creativity” within Disney.

Ursula, The Little Mermaid

Ursula Credit: Disney

Martin Kaplan, a former Walt Disney Studios executive, added his own perspective with the following statement: “The mission for the Disney brand has always been really clear: Do nothing that might upset or confuse the family audience…Fun for all. Nothing objectionable. Let’s all be transformed by the magic wand. But we are so divided today, so revved up, that even Disney is having a hard time bringing us together.”

swiss-family-robinson-movie

John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, and Tommy Kirk in ‘Swiss Family Robinson’, which has been flagged for its negative depictions of its pirate characters and its racist stereotypes. Credit: disneyplus.com

A recent poll revealed that Disney’s “woke” approach is actually alienating many of its Guests, but the Stories Matter team’s review of Disney movies continues regardless. So far Disney movie characters Tinker Bell, Ursula, Captain Hook, the Swiss Family Robinson pirates, the Peter Pan native people, and several other Disney movie characters have been flagged due to issues like racist stereotypes or exaggerated stereotypical traits.

About Sharon

Sharon is from New England. She's a writer, animal lover, and, of course, a Disney Fanatic! Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures.