Disney+ Adds Racism Warning Before Popular Movies
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
Disney+ is the latest service to add a warning about racism at the beginning of popular movies including ARISTOCATS, JUNGLE BOOK, PETER PAN, and DUMBO to notify viewers that the movie may contain racist content.
“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the message reads. “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 Walt Disney website offered a similar explanation as to why they added the warning:
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. Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re committed to giving voice to their stories as well.
Amazon Prime and HBO Max have also used similar politically correct phraseology ahead of other programs with supposed racist content, including TOM AND JERRY and GONE WITH THE WIND.
While addressing racism is important, it appears the streaming giant is more concerned about making sure their content fits today’s talking points and less about the cognitive development of children and what is appropriate for certain ages.
Movieguide® strongly advocates asking your family media-wise questions after watching a movie or television program together; however, just placing a warning ahead of a program does not ensure families are responsibly consuming content.
Furthermore, many programs contain other grievous content in addition to potential racism. To ensure your family is mindfully considering what they watch, discuss these 10 media-wise questions:
1. What kind of role models, positive and negative, are the main characters?
2. Who is the hero? And, who is the villain? And, how do their character traits agree with a biblical hero or villain?
3. Do the moral statements and themes agree with a biblical worldview?
4. Are real consequences to sin exposed and rebuked?
5. How are relationships and love portrayed?
6. How are Christians, religion, the church, the Bible, and God portrayed?
7. Does the language honor God and people?
8. If violence is included, how is it presented?
9. How much sexual activity and nudity is included?
10. How appropriate is this material for my family and me?
When these questions are addressed, there is no need to add a warning about supposed racist content and they create the structure for children to appropriately process the material they consume.