Disney+ Has Content Warnings About ‘Outdated Cultural Depictions,’ but Do They Go Far Enough?


Disney+ is definitely all the rage at the moment, as the iconic entertainment company is now in the streaming game in a major way, releasing their archived films, old and new, for all to enjoy.

With the release of many of these older films comes a problem, though. Included in the description of some Disney+ films come warnings about possible “outdated cultural depictions” that some people may find offensive.

“Outdated cultural depictions” is kind of code for offensive, racist, misogynistic portrayals of minorities, women, etc.

Warner Bros. has done similar warnings before some of their cartoons. And if you’ve ever watched any of these old cartoons (or you grew up on them), you know that a lot of them contain imagery, themes, and scenes that definitely wouldn’t be acceptable in today’s environment.

And, as you can see, the warning on some Warner Bros. content is a little more forthcoming and honest as compared to just saying there might be some “outdated cultural depictions” in Disney classics such as Peter PanPocahontasThe Jungle Book, and Lady and the Tramp.

Some minority advocacy groups have spoken out about the Disney+ disclaimer. Azita Ghanizada, founder of MENA (Middle Eastern North African) Arts Advocacy Coalition, said, “I would hope that Disney would do it for all the films that might include some things that are a little outdated. Especially with Aladdin, with those orientalized tropes that we’re kind of pushing back against.”

But there are more recent concerns as well.

What about the depictions of Native Americans? And specifically, the decision to cast Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger?

Sonny Skyhawk, founder of American Indians in Film and Television, said, “We talked to people at Disney about that depiction … I said there are probably a hundred [Native] people of that caliber that can do that and yet you’re going to try and force Johnny Depp down our throat. That’s basically what they did and it’s the arrogance of Hollywood and the arrogance of Disney to say it’s our idea, it’s our money and we’re going to do it, whether you like it or not.”

What do you think about this? Is Disney going far enough with their warnings? Should these movies even be streaming for people to see?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.