Kids won't be able to watch The Jungle Book or Lady and the Tramp on Disney Plus now, without the intervention of their adult guardians. Disney Plus has quietly blocked kid profiles from accessing content that runs with an advisory on racist depictions.
Last October, Disney launched its "Stories Matter" initiative, which added advisories to movies with "negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures." With this move, first noticed by Polygon (opens in new tab), Disney Plus goes even further by restricting kids under seven from searching for or watching any films with those advisories, including Dumbo, Peter Pan, Aristocats and Swiss Family Robinson.
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Regular Disney Plus profiles can still search for and play those movies, which are preceded by the unskippable 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.”
Disney did not announce the change, but it's clear that the company intends for parents to oversee their children's viewing and contextualize the racist tropes and stereotypes found in some of their library titles. Parents or guardians can get more info on from the Stories Matter (opens in new tab) site, which is highlighted in the advisories.
This isn't the only step Disney is taking to address racism. The company is also redoing the Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise rides at its theme parks to remove racist iconography.
When the Stories Matter program launched, Disney said, "we can’t change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of."
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