Spanish – Disney undertook a campaign to warn about alleged racism in its classic films. But in its campaign to make past racism visible, it hides its complicity with ethnic cleansing in the present.
About one million people are being held in forced labor camps in China. They are persecuted for their ethnicity and their faith. They are sterilized, and the communist regime removes their organs. The birth rate of the Uyghurs, a Turkic and Islamic minority, has fallen by 24% in 2019 in the region of Xinjiang. The situation meets the criteria for classification as genocide since this constitutes a considerable reduction of the population.
And instead of warning about these abuses, Disney filmed its latest blockbuster, Mulan, in the region where most abuses are committed.
Now, the image of China is deteriorated because it was the starting point of the coronavirus pandemic and did not warn the world on time but censored and even persecuted doctors and journalists who tried to warn about the danger from the beginning. So Disney serves as a favorable propaganda channel.
Disney’s business in China
In the past, Disney had to pay a high price for daring to question ethnic/religious persecution in China. In 1997, the production company released the film Kundun, which told the story of the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist religious leader exiled by the atheistic imposition of the Chinese communist regime.
Just a year later, in October 1998, the then-CEO of Disney Michael Eisner told Premier Zhu Rongji, “we made a stupid mistake in releasing Kundun. Here I want to apologize, and in the future, we should prevent this sort of things, which insults our friends, from happening.”
Fawning over the Chinese Communist Party has brought benefits to Disney, such as the opening of Shanghai Disneyland in June 2016. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, it is the “biggest opportunity the company has had since Walt Disney himself bought a piece of land in Central Florida (where Disney World is located).”
The Walt Disney release of ‘Mulan’ has provoked a backlash on social media over its star’s support of Hong Kong police and for being partly filmed in a China region tied to allegations of abuse against Uighur Muslims https://t.co/D7qxD3Yi6q pic.twitter.com/yzytO2VFvO
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 8, 2020
While in the present, Disney is complicit in ethnocide and takes economic advantage of it, the company tried to portray itself publicly as a spokesperson for the fight against racism and is seeking to rectify its past.
Content warnings for racism on Disney+
The production company included warnings about racist content for several of its classics available on its Disney+ streaming platform, including Peter Pan and Artistogatos, to warn viewers that these films have pejorative stereotypes about ethnic minorities.
In the 1953 cartoon film, Peter Pan appears with a feathered headband, representative of indigenous peoples in North America. This is offensive today. The same thing happened with The Lady and the Tramp, where a Siamese cat imitates the accent of a person from the Far East and simulates a slanted eye in the 1970 animated film. Even Dumbo, the elephant, will be censored.
“This program includes negative representations and/or incorrect treatment of people or cultures,” the platform now warns.
The search for “diversity”
Not just the movies but also the Disney parks will be modified to include more “diverse” characters. The “Splash Mountain” attraction would be adapted to the story of Disney’s first black princess, Tiana.
Until now, Disneyland and Disney World hosted that ride set in the 1946 Disney movie, “Song of the South.”
The film was removed from the Disney+ platform because of online petitions against racism, given its portrayal of harmonious coexistence on the plantations where African slaves worked in the southern United States, highlighted by the joyful melody entitled Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.
Karl Marx said, in bourgeois society, the past dominates the present, and in a communist society, the present dominates the past.
Just as Disney, claiming to fight racism, seeks to erase the past but in the present is complicit in a communist regime that kills, sterilizes, and persecutes ethnic minorities, people of flesh and blood. Meanwhile, Disney cares about cartoons.