Disney blocks Peter Pan and Dumbo after highlighting 'harmful stereotypes'

Telegraph reporters
·2-min read
Dumbo has been accused of caricaturing African Americans 
Dumbo has been accused of caricaturing African Americans

Disney has blocked children under seven from watching Peter Pan and Dumbo after highlighting "harmful stereotypes" in classic cartoons.

The company’s streaming platform offers Kids Profile accounts with age restrictions in place which were updated in October to address issues with racial stereotypes.

Children’s Disney+ accounts now block animated classics like Peter Pan, Dumbo and The Aristocats for breaching content advisories, it has been reported.

Swiss Family Robinson has also been made unavailable after Disney brought in new restrictions for its subscription service on the advice of experts, according to reports.

In October the company added content advisories which warned viewers these programmes include “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures".

The warning added: "These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now."

Watch: Disney+ warns of 'outdated cultural depictions'

The children’s films have been removed from Kids Profiles, but are still available for viewing on adult accounts.

Concerns were raised about the term “redskins” being used in reference to Native Americans in the 1953 release Peter Pan.

The Aristocats, brought out in 1970, features a Siamese cat called Shun Gon which some viewers have found to portray stereotypes of East Asian People.

The 1941 cartoon Dumbo has been accused of caricaturing African Americans with several characters, including black workers who claim they “throw our pay away” while toiling to build a circus.

Disney last year moved to address “negative depictions” and “mistreatment of people or cultures" following Black Lives Matter protests, and has now removed some of its older content from children’s profiles, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Disney has not commented on the changes, but a statement on the company's website states it is: “Committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.

It adds: “We can't change the past, but we can acknowledge it.”

Other Disney productions came under increased scrutiny last year as depictions of race were reexamined following the death of George Floyd.

The Jungle Book, released in 1968, received a content warning because the ape King Louie sings Dixieland jazz style and is shown as lazy and lacking linguistic skills.

The 1955 film Lady and the Tramp likewise was given a warning message due to the animation including Siamese cats portraying Asian stereotypes, and heavily-accented dogs portray stereotypes of Mexico and Russia.

The 1946 release Song of the South is not available at all on Disney platforms due to their portrayals of black people as happy in the cotton fields.

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