Disney+ Adds Warning to Back Catalogue Due To “Racist Themes”

Disney+ has officially launched in the US showcasing classic Disney content spanning the decades, surpassing 10 million subscribers in its first day.

But that also brings with it some potentially problematic content, some of which younger viewers may be discovering for the very first time. This is something Disney is well aware of, as they’ve included a content warning on many classic titles in the Disney+ library.

Titles such as the Disney animated classic Dumbo, which was released in 1941, were made available on Disney+ when the service launched in the U.S. earlier this week.

At the end of the brief synopsis provided, Disney opted to provide the following warning, given that the movie, as has been pointed out numerous times in the past, contains imagery that is truly troubling when viewed through the modern lens;

“This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

Dumbo contains several troubling sequences, such as The Song of the Roustabouts, that are insensitive to African-Americans and have been called out for being racist. Disney+ has added the warning to Peter Pan, some early Mickey Mouse cartoons and a few other classics.

There has been a larger debate about movies such as Dumbo, which have a lot of historical significance, yet also contain troubling material. Should classics be altered? Or is it worth preserving those bits of history as they are, flaws and all?

Debate has raged on social media once the content warnings were spotted on Disney+. Many feel it’s not enough.

Disney+ has made some cuts from their library such as Song of the South.

Song of the South has been criticised for its handling of race and glamorising the post-Civil War plantation era. The movie painted a picture where the African-Americans working on the plantation were happy to serve their white masters.

Looks like Disney can’t use content warnings to cover all of their unsavoury past films.

Disney+ UK launch date has been announced for March 31st.

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