Disney is arguably Hollywood‘s dominant force right now in almost every pie it has its fingers in. But despite all its wins, there’s one aspect the entertainment giant is lacking compared to one of its big rivals, Warner Bros.: racist content warnings.
A heap of Disney’s older movies are getting a second life on Disney plus and some of the more problematic films now include disclaimers in its description box about how certain scenes may be culturally inappropriate or outright racist today.
While it’s great that Disney is acknowledging the racist and prejudiced elements of its older Disney+ content using disclaimers, which is better than no acknowledgement at all, the studio could’ve done way more.
At the time of writing, the Disney+ disclaimers for films and shows containing problematic content only briefly touch on the issue with a simple “It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
By contrast, Warner Bros. has not only been issuing out racist content warnings for years, it proactively calls out racial prejudice by deeming certain depictions to be “wrong then and are wrong today” before stating that these depictions will be “presented as they were originally created” despite not representing “today’s society” because “to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
When the disclaimers from Disney and Warner Bros. are put side-by-side, the contrast in intent and language is pretty wild.
While there’s no denying that Disney are winning quite a lot right now, this is one area where learning a few lessons from Warner Bros. isn’t a bad thing.
This is certainly quite an interesting pickle Disney finds itself in, but it is ultimately a case of two steps forward, one step back.
Yes Disney could do better when it comes to acknowledging and calling out its older racist content, but it also deserves some props for acknowledging the issue in the first place rather than just outright ignoring it.