Disney is launching its Disney Plus video streaming service, which promises to be tremendously popular, which is unfortunate. “Experts” from the enlightened side of the tracks are unrolling their grievances about how the Disney film catalogue is full of racism, sexism and loathsome bigotry of all sorts.
It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it? And is anyone surprised that Disney met this ridiculous assault with capitulation?
To head off the left, classic cartoons like “Dumbo” (first released in 1941) and “Peter Pan” (1953) will carry a disclaimer saying that certain scenes “may contain outdated cultural depictions.” The mocking crows in “Dumbo” have what the left calls “African American accents,” and the crows’ leader is named Jim Crow. “Peter Pan” contains a song sang by an American Indian chief titled “What Makes the Red Man Red?”
We’re not making this up. Disney’s doing more aerobic work than just disclaimers. Its new live-action version of “Lady and The Tramp” dropped the song from the 1955 cartoon where Siamese cats sing, “We are Siamese if you please.” It is now replaced with a blues-style song by singer Janelle Monae. According to Variety, a blogger from “Flavorwire” said the original song reflects “post WWII anxiety America had about the foreign ‘other'” and claimed the cats represent “a duplicitous and seductive team with shady motives.”
It’s never enough. The Washington Post found the “experts” to say that Disney could do so much more.
The “woke” syllabus has many more Disney errors including more recent ones. In “The Jungle Book” (1967), the orangutans were stand-ins for “foolish and criminal” African Americans, The Post says. And the “churlish hyenas” in “The Lion King” (1994) “could represent racial minorities who live on the wrong side of the tracks.”
These people just hate everything.
No one expects Disney to issue a disclaimer suggesting that “Pocahontas” creates unfair stereotypes of white European colonists or that Catholic clergy were stereotyped in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
There are villains and heroes of all colors and creeds in our history and literature. But the leftists obsess over racial and ethnic slights — and religious slights if the religion is perceived as a “minority,” especially Islam — while Christians can be endlessly maligned.
No one offers a trigger warning about anti-Christian stereotypes. You could live-stream “Cape Fear” (1991) or “Dogma” (1999) or “The Golden Compass” (2007) and no one would offer a disclaimer about “outdated cultural depictions,” because smearing Christianity is never outdated in Hollywood. HBO is airing an entire TV series based on the viciously anti-Catholic “beloved trilogy” of novels including “The Golden Compass” called “His Dark Materials.”
The bigotry in these products is not subtle, and it cannot be explained away. Jesus told his followers they should expect to be hated for their faith, and it is happening all over again.
Even so, it’s vitally important for conservative Christians to resist and debate the arrogant ways the radical left is seeking to remake the world to match its own vision of “diversity and inclusion” by banning diversity and inclusion.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.