Disney execs worried that Tinker Bell and Captain Hook were “potentially problematic” during their review of content headed to the new Disney+ streaming service, the New York Times reports. The review is part of Disney’s “Stories Matter” initiative, a wide-ranging effort to bring more inclusion into the Disney-sphere. From the project’s website:
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.
Tinker Bell (yes, I thought it was one word too) raised concern because she is “body conscious” and jealous of Peter Pan’s attention. A young attractive woman who cares about her appearance and likes boys—the horror! Meanwhile they reportedly fretted over Captain Hook because has a disability but likes to do villainous things, and that could be considered by some to be discriminatory.
As I’ve noted before, many well-meaning efforts to promote diversity actually have the opposite effect—exclusion. For instance, are actors with disabilities going to no longer be offered villain parts, often the most sought after because thespians get to chew up the scenery?
Also drawing fire was Ursula, the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. From The Times:
Her dark color palette (lavender skin, black legs) could be viewed through a racial lens, the Stories Matter team cautioned; she is also a “queer coded” character, with mannerisms inspired in part by those of a real-life drag queen.
Wait, I thought we were supposed to like drag queens? I’m so confused.
The below tweet shows how absurd this all could get if we delve deeply into every character’s deeds, skin color, sexuality etcetera.
I can’t believe Monsters Inc. never showed us Mike and Sully answering for their war crimes of scaring innocent children for years. How can they just get away with it!? pic.twitter.com/dXIshNhC58
— Braddington (@bradwhipple) March 7, 2021
What about Goofy? He’s well… goofy. Isn’t that a slight against ditzy people? This might never end.
The Stories Matter endeavor resulted in the decision to put a disclaimer in front of any content that might include something objectionable. Before watching affected content, you will be shown the following message:
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.
Content receiving such warnings include Dumbo, the Aristocats, Peter Pan and the Swiss Family Robinson (apparently the 1960 live-action version, but it’s unclear).
None of this seems especially insidious. Warn people that there are some negative stereotypes in some of our content? That seems like a perfectly nice idea.
But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and once Disney stepped into the woke world, it seemed it could not stop. Disney next felt the need to step into another state’s political affairs, slamming the “Don’t Say Gay” bill (which says nothing of the sort). It’s not going well for them, as RedState’s Nick Arama reports.
Florida Governor DeSantis ripped the company and threatened to take away its special self-governing status. Many left-of-center Disney employees, meanwhile, held protests and staged walkouts over their perception that the company hasn’t done enough for LGBTQIA+ rights. Conservative employees fired back with their own anonymous letter urging the company to stay “politically neutral.”
While fretting over seemingly harmless characters might seem like an inclusive act, it was just one small step toward the company sinking into the woke quicksand they’re currently enduring. Disney is trying to please everyone, but in the end, is pleasing no one.