Kermit and Mrs Piggy are the latest victims of the Disney treatment.
Parents nationwide were thrilled to hear that The Muppet Show is now available to watch on Disney’s £5.99-per-month service.
But only those with an adult account can view the show, since it contains ‘offensive’ content. Make it make sense!
Alongside the block on watching The Muppets from a kids account, certain episodes of the show are now prefaced with a warning graphic at the start of the episode.
The disclaimer runs before a total of 18 episodes and plays at the beginning of these episodes for 12 seconds.
Disney+ has added an on-screen content advisory to films that include “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.”
The message displays prior to several films including Lady and the Tramp, Jungle Book Aristocats, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson. pic.twitter.com/C9m2wOgQ7i
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 15, 2020
It reads: “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 is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”
The disclaimer appears to refer to stereotypes of Native Americans, Arabs and East Asians that appear in the kids’ show.
One of the episodes which carries the warning card features Johnny Cash performing in front of a Confederate flag.
In another, Spike Milligan dresses up as a Chinese person with protruding front teeth and a long braid.
An episode from season five, which featured guest star Chris Langham, was totally missing from the episode lineup.
Langham was a staff writer on The Muppet Show and stepped in as a guest star in one episode. He was later convicted as a sex offender – so this could explain the episode’s absence from the platform. Disney has not confirmed this.
‘Is nothing safe?’
Not everyone approved of Disney’s move.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said of the streaming service’s decision: “I would like to know which bunch of muppets thought this one up.
“It would appear if this continues kids won’t be able to watch any TV programmes which are not newly made. Is nothing safe?”
The Aristocrats, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson are also among shows that the provider deems “offensive”.
The “woke” move comes as part of Disney’s Stories Matter initiative.
The company is “in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures”.
In order to do this, Disney has hired an external team who assess the content.
Disney said: “Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re committed to giving voice to their stories as well,”
“To that end, we’ve brought together a group of experts from outside our company to advise us as we assess our content and ensure it accurately represents our global audiences. As we embrace each other’s stories, we embrace possibility. And that’s why we’re committed to doing the best we can to represent communities authentically. So people not only see the best in themselves, but the world can see it too.”
Last week, Mandalorian star Gina Carano hit out at Disney after she got the sack for “abhorrent and unacceptable” social media posts.
Seems like this is going to be an ongoing challenge if Disney want to continue promoting their old movies…
Image via Alamy