The Disney Corporation is one of the most beloved companies of all time. Its movies, television shows, theme parks, and merchandise are treasured by millions all over the world. However, Disney isn’t without its controversies. Over the years, many of Disney’s movies have come under fire for perpetuating harmful stereotypes and racism. In this article, we look at some of Disney’s movies that have been most heavily criticized for racism.

Introduction to Disney

The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy Disney. From the very beginning, Disney had a knack for creating stories that have captivated audiences. Over the decades, Disney’s stories have come to be loved and cherished by millions of people all around the world. Disney’s stories and products span from children’s books and cartoons, to live-action movies, Broadway musicals, and more.

How Disney’s Movies Have Been Criticized for Racism

Throughout Disney’s history, many of their movies have come under fire for perpetuating harmful stereotypes and racism. While Disney has come a long way in terms of putting out content that is less offensive and embodies a more diverse set of races and cultures, Disney has been criticized for the messages their movies have sent out in the past. Here are some of the Disney movies that have been most heavily criticized for racism.

  1. The Song of the South

Disney’s “Song of the South” has been criticized for its offensive stereotypes of African Americans. The movie revolves around the relationship between an elderly African American man and a young white boy, and has been accused of romanticizing slavery and racism. The movie has not been released since 1986 and is not available for purchase or viewing in the US.

  1. Dumbo

Disney’s “Dumbo” has been criticized for its offensive racial stereotypes. In the movie, African American crows are presented as struggling with language and speech. The song the crows sing is laced with racial caricatures and slurs and is seen as particularly offensive. The movie was recently released in a live-action remake, and while it was mostly well-received, some argued that the explicit racial stereotypes of the original movie weren’t addressed.

  1. The Lion King

Disney’s “The Lion King” has been criticized for its offensive portrayal of African culture. In the movie, the villain Scar (an African lion) is presented as evil, untrustworthy, and cruel. In addition, the movie is criticized for its lack of diversity, with no major non-white characters.

  1. Aladdin

Disney’s “Aladdin” has been criticized for perpetuating negative Western stereotypes about Middle Eastern cultures. The movie has been accused of being culturally insensitive to Islam and Arab people. In particular, the character Jafar is seen as embodying negative beliefs about Middle Eastern people.

  1. Peter Pan

Disney’s “Peter Pan” has been criticized for its insensitive portrayal of Native Americans. In particular, the Native American character Tiger Lily is presented as powerless and naïve. In addition, Disney has been accused of perpetuating the Stereotype that Native Americans are a “vanishing race”.

Disney’s Response to the Criticism

In recent years, Disney has taken steps to make amends for its past mistakes and create a more inclusive and diverse slate of content. Disney has promised to “examine its properties, past and present, with an awareness of inequality that continues to be experienced by other cultures.” Disney has acknowledged that its previous movies have been “insensitive” and have “carried negative stereotypes” and has promised to “do better” in the future.

In addition, Disney has implemented a range of inclusion initiatives, including the “Advisory Council on Culture and Inclusion”, which meets regularly to provide guidance and advice on how to create more inclusive and respectful content.

For over ninety years, Disney has been creating stories and productions that have captivated people all around the world. However, Disney has also been criticized for its past content, which is often considered offensive, insensitive, and racist. While Disney has promised to do better in the future, its past movies are still worth learning about, so that we can better understand how to create more inclusive content.