The Walt Disney Company is facing accusations of "whitewashing" is history by refusing to release the 1946 film Song of the South on its new streaming service, Disney+. Also removed from the service is a scene in 1941's Dumbo involving a character in blackface.
As Yahoo Entertainment reports, at least two reputable entertainment websites confirmed in the past week that Disney's new streaming service, which costs $7 per month, offers users almost the entirety of the company's movie and TV catalog, with two notable exceptions. Those exceptions are, depending on whom you ask, either unfortunate reminders of a different time in the country's (and the company's) history that are best forgotten, or works of art intended for public consumption that should be left as-is.
Song of the South
Though it inspired a major theme park attraction (Splash Mountain) and a song that is practically a theme song of Disney theme parks ("Zippety Doo Dah"), the Disney public relations machine has tried valiantly to pretend the film never existed. The 1946 film, based on Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus tales, takes place in the post-Civil War South and features a main character who, though sympathetic and portrayed with love, echoes the stereotypes of the era regarding blacks. The film is also accused of glossing over the horrors of slavery.
Dumbo's Unfortunate Blackface Scene
Also excised from the Disney+ catalog is a scene in 1941's Dumbo. The scene features four singing crows, one of which is named Jim Crow and whose face resembles a performer in blackface. "Jim Crow" is, of course, a reference to the laws at the time that enforced segregation.