When the streamer first debuted in November 2019, the films in question — which also include Fantasia and Lady and the Tramp — featured a shorter content warning that read, “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Now, when users press play on a movie that features racist or insensitive content, the following 12-second disclaimer appears ahead of the film: “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.”
The disclaimer also links to Disney’s Stories Matter initiative, which aims to create “dialogue on history that affects us all” and give voice to communities that “have been erased or forgotten altogether.”
There are still no plans, however, to add the 1946 film Song of the South to Disney+’s library, even with an added disclaimer. In March, Disney’s executive chairman Bob Iger said the film — which contains racist depictions of Black people — is “not appropriate in today’s world” and would not appear on the service.
Amid a wave of anti-racist activism around the world, many streaming services have recently grappled with how to handle racist content. Certain episodes of TV shows — including 30 Rock, Scrubs and Community — left their respective streamers earlier this year, while IMDb TV chose to add a disclaimer about a Mad Men episode that features Roger in blackface.
Similarly, HBO Max’s version of Gone With the Wind now includes an introduction with context about the film’s depiction of the Antebellum South.
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