Disney Pulls Controversial ‘Moana’ Halloween Costume From Website After Public Backlash

Disney has pulled their controversial Moana costume after several customers issued complaints suggesting the costume is racist and culturally insensitive.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the costume in question depicted the character Maui, a Polynesian hero who aids Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) in her quest to become an ocean navigator. Maui, who is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the animated film, has long black hair, wears a shark-tooth necklace, and has tattoos covering much of his body.

Over the weekend, Disney released their latest batch of costumes on their online website, one of which was that of Maui. The costume comes complete with a shirt and pants that replicate Maui’s brown skin covered in tribal tattoos, along with his necklace and grass skirt.

Before being pulled from the website, the costumes description read: “Your little one will set off on adventures in this Maui Costume featuring the demigod’s signature tattoos, rope necklace and island-style skirt. Plus, padded arms and legs for mighty stature!”

Many customers quickly took to social media to voice their outrage and disgust of Disney for creating a “polyface” costume.

“As a Poly I support our folk involved in #MOANA. But this? NO. Our Brown Skin/Ink’s NOT a costume,” one user tweeted before another added, “Many people are Rightfully upset about this new piece of #Moana merch. Cultures are NOT costumes.”

Still, another Twitter user wrote: “Hey heads up, I’ve seen that Moana costume, and I seriously don’t want to see it again. It sickens me, please don’t ask me to talk about it.”


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After the backlash, Disney made the decision to pull the controversial costume, and issued a statement apologizing to those who were offended by it. Disney also pulled several boy’s pajamas and a men’s T-shirt that came in a similar design.

“The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some,” Disney said in a statement on Wednesday. “We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores.”

While many customers were upset about the costume, others suggested they were overreacting because the costume is based on an animated movie.

“This Moana costume thing. Calm down, Internet,” said one Twitter user.

“Disney costume is representing a character, not a culture. It’s an animated movie, people, not a documentary. ,” another user added.

Although Disney pulled the Maui costume, the company is still selling the costume for the character Moana. The costumes description reads: “Your brave explorer will set out on adventures in our Moana Costume. Inspired by her outfit in the film, this island-style ensemble is crafted especially for a master wayfinder.”

This isn’t the first time Moana has been the center of criticism. Earlier this summer, people called out the film for fat-shaming Johnson’s character and saying Maui’s size “perpetuates stereotypes of obesity among Pacific Islanders.”

“The environment our kids grow up in and what they are exposed to have a role to play,” said New Zealand politician Jenny Salesa, according to Yahoo! Beauty. “Disney movies are very influential on our children. It is great that Moana is the lead. However, it is disappointing that Maui, one of our beloved historical ancestors from hundreds of years ago, who was a very strong man [and] a skilled navigator, is depicted to be so overweight in this kids’ movie.”

Moana is scheduled to be released in theaters on November 23, 2016.

[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]