Here We Go Again: Disney Accused of Racism
For years, Disney has been accused of depicting racist portrayals in its cartoon films.
Now, it appears the trend is holding steady. BBC reports the franchise is in hot water after revealing its new Moana fancy dress costume for children.
The full-body suit is designed to look like Maui, the Polynesian demigod, voiced by actor/wrestling champ Dwayne Johnson.
Featuring traditional Polynesian tattoos, a grass skirt, a bone necklace and brown skin, the outfit provoked criticism from people claiming that Disney is appropriating Polynesian culture. The brand is also accused of promoting “full-body brownface.”
“The pe’a is a sacred tattoo and selling a costume of it is offensive to Samoan and other PI cultures. NOT OK @DisneyMoana. #disney #moana,” Twitter user @kellydavisnae tweeted Monday.
“Dear #Disney, our brown skin is not a costume. Get outta here with that crap. Sincerely, a furious brown skinned Pacific Islander. #Moana”
So far, the outfit, described as an “authentic Disney costume,” complete with “all over Maui body tattoo screen art.”
The criticism is global. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission issued a statement calling for Disney to “listen to the views of the communities and people whose cultures their movie is based upon.”
Disney has not commented on the controversy. Others have come to the brand’s defense saying the costume represents “a character, not a culture.”