There are some movies and cartoons on Disney+ that have a disclaimer showcased. That disclaimer reads:
“This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
You can probably guess what this means – go back and watch such titles as Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, and Dumbo and you’ll know what we mean. Apparently, though; there’s one movie that will never be on the streaming service, even with a disclaimer attached.
Bob Iger confirmed during The Walt Disney shareholders meeting that the controversial 1946 Song of the South will never be on their platform. This live-action/animation hybrid takes place in the South during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era. It features incredibly outdated and racist depictions of African Americans, which author Jason Sperb describe as “outdated” even for 1946 in his book Disney’s Most Notorious Film: Race, Convergence, and the Hidden Histories of Song of the South.
Here is an excerpt from that book:
Using cartoon characters and live actors to retell the stories of Joel Chandler Harris, SotS portrays a kindly black Uncle Remus who tells tales of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and the “Tar Baby” to adoring white children. Audiences and critics alike found its depiction of African Americans condescending and outdated when the film opened in 1946, but it grew in popularity—and controversy—with subsequent releases. Although Disney has withheld the film from American audiences since the late 1980s, SotS has an enthusiastic fan following, and pieces of the film—such as the Oscar-winning “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”—remain throughout Disney’s media universe.
What do you think about this film and Iger’s announcement?
H/T: Slash Film
A girl with too many fandoms to count.