Disney acknowledges racism in its classic movies with new advisory warning

"These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now."

Disney's Aladdin movie illustrative. (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Disney's Aladdin movie illustrative.
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
With the understanding that some of the classic Disney movies aren't up to today's social standards, Disney has put an advisory warning before a number of older movies seen as featuring racist stereotypes, and featured it on their streaming service, Disney+.
"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," the warning reads.
Movies prefaced with the warning include Peter Pan (1953), The Aristocats (1970), The Jungle Book (1967), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Dumbo (1941), Aladdin (1992), Fantasia (1940) and Swiss Family Robinson (1960).
"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," Disney said in a statement online.
The statement lists an example of movies and the explanation as to why they were given an advisory warning. 
The Aristocats for example is given a warning due to the racist depiction of a cat as Eastern Asian person, with "exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth.
"He sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks. This portrayal reinforces the 'perpetual foreigner' stereotype, while the film also features lyrics that mock the Chinese language and culture such as 'Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Foo Young. Fortune cookie always wrong.'"
The warning also provides a URL for a Disney website called Stories Matter, where Disney explains that outside experts were brought in to ensure that their current films accurately represent their global audiences. 
The warning may be given to other Disney movies.