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Disney+ Issues ‘Offensive Content’ Warning Ahead of Select Episodes of THE MUPPET SHOW

Photo from The Muppets Instagram

Disney+ Issues ‘Offensive Content’ Warning Ahead of Select Episodes of THE MUPPET SHOW

By Movieguide® Staff

Disney+ released five seasons of THE MUPPET SHOW, which initially aired in 1976, with an “offensive content” warning ahead of various episodes of the beloved family-friendly show.

“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,” the disclaimer reads. “Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”

According to Variety, 18 episodes were flagged with a warning. The “offensive content” warning appears for 12 seconds ahead of episodes, including guest hosts Jim Nabors, Joel Grey, Steve Martin, Peter Sellers, Cleo Laine, James Coco, Spike Milligan, Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers, Beverly Sills, Jonathan Winters, Alan Arkin, James Coburn, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Debbie Harry, Wally Boag, and Marty Feldman.

The warning is part of the Disney’s Stories Matter campaign, which has slapped the warning on programs like DUMBO and Peter Pan.

Disney’s Stories Matter initiative released a statement that said the company would assess their entire library of content for similar messages.

“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,” the statement reads. “To that end, we’ve brought together a group of experts from outside our company to advise us as we assess our content and ensure it accurately represents our global audiences. As we embrace each other’s stories, we embrace possibility. And that’s why we’re committed to doing the best we can to represent communities authentically. So people not only see the best in themselves, but the world can see it too.”

However, not everyone sees the disclaimer as a harmless call to inclusivity.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., called out the company in a discussion on FOX & FRIENDS for their hypocrisy after Disney’s work on MULAN in China’s controversial Xinjiang Province.

“Just last year they thanked an agency of the Chinese Communist Party that is responsible for concentration camps and genocide in Xinjiang Province, China, for helping them film a movie,” Cotton said. “It is outrageous and appalling.”

“I don’t remember The Muppets ever being offensive. Here we are again with cancel culture,” Fox News contributor Joe Concha added during the segment.

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