Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race


with one comment

My boyfriend knows that I am obsessed with Disney and he sent me an article titled “The nine most racist disney characters”. I feel that most of the characters shouldn’t really be judged by modern day standards (characters from Dumbo, Peter Pan, Fantasia, etc.) because Disney or no Disney, these movies came out during Jim Crow, so you can’t really expect it to be politically correct.
However one of the ones that was more modern was the merchant at the beginning of Aladdin, which came out in 1992. In the original version of the movie, one line read “Where thy cut off your ear if they don’t like your face, it’s barbaric. But hey, it’s home” I was so surprised at this because I hadn’t really paid close attention to the song. This sends the message that the middle east is a savage wasteland where people run around cutting each other’s limbs off. Needless to say, Arab American groups were outraged, which caused Disney to change the line to something less insulting.
This shows that even the people who pay most attention to their work to make sure that they don’t offend anyone can make mistakes. It sucks that they have to get torn apart for it, but it was an offensive line and children shouldn’t start getting that impression ESPECIALLY with every other stereotype that surrounds people of Middle Eastern descent these days.


Written by dippity09

March 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I agree, children really shouldn’t be exposed to stereotypes that we can prevent ahead of time especially with all of the ones out there we can’t do anything about. However, with Disney I feel the same way you do—it’s hard to point fingers at them because I never feel that they’re intentionally trying to terrorize any specific group—I feel that their goal is always giving a tone or feel to a scene with humor.


    March 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm

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