Having successfully distracted themselves from the grim futility of life for a few precious moments by buying up every Dr. Seuss book in close reach—and thus sticking it to those bastards in the estate of Dr. Seuss, who decided not to continue publishing some of the beloved author’s books that trafficked in racist tropes—the Conservative Outrage Machine has now apparently settled on its next worthy target in its crusade against things that look like “cancel culture” if you don’t actually know what any of those words mean: A five-month-old update to Disney Plus. That’ll show ‘em!
Specifically, Variety reports on postings made this week by both The New York Post and Fox News, apparently unhappy with a decision from the streaming service—five months ago—not to include films requiring a content disclaimer for historical racism to be seen on accounts flagged for kids 7 years old or younger. (The films are all still on the service, mind you, and easily accessible; you can’t just access them if there’s a reasonable expectation that you, the consumer, are too young to read or understand their attached context disclaimers.) Said films include Peter Pan, Dumbo, Swiss Family Robinson, The Aristocats, Fantasia, The Jungle Book, and Lady And The Tramp.
Which, again: All of this was put in place back in October of 2020, before Green Eggs And Ham had even become a fundamental conservative text. But the all-seeing, all-glowering eye of the COM has no concern for your linear understanding of time, mortals. The disclaimers were part of a wave of streaming services coming to terms with the racially insensitive legacies of older materials, a modern iteration of the “What do we do with Gone With The Wind?” issue that’s dogged film critique for decades. (Or the “What to do with sitcom blackface?” issue that’s dogged network TV comedies since, uh, way back in the late-2000s.) None of it’s new, and most of it feels pretty reasonable, in so far as parents might, in fact, want to talk to their kids before showing them something like the racist stereotypes on display in Peter Pan.
On the other hand, the Post had presumably been sitting on that “Disney Minus” burn for like a year now, so good for them for finally working it out of their systems.