As Disney continues to promote its “Stories Matter” initiative, the company has updated its content advisory on Disney+ for racial and ethnic stereotypes.
The new advisory appears on films including The Aristocats, Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Swiss Family Robinson, reading:
This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.
To learn more about how stories have impacted society visit: www.Disney.com/StoriesMatter
The advisory directs viewers to the “Stories Matter” website, which discusses the harmful depictions and how Disney is working to move past these biases:
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.
We can’t change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of.
Whether this kind of openness and acknowledgement could pave the way for Disney to release Song of the South, unavailable on any format in the United States since the 1980’s for its racist and whitewashing of plantation life during the Reconstruction era, on the streaming service, is yet to be seen, but it is encouraging to see Disney finally reckoning with its past.