Disney must edit The Little Mermaid to remove racist stereotypes against black people

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The Little Mermaid is a beloved Disney animated film which, for the most part, is cute, harmless and fun. But amidst this fun and lighthearted film lies something ugly and ignorant—racism. The song "Under the Sea" contains an image of a "blackfish" which looks like early 1900s stereotypical images of African Americans; oversized lips, dark skin, and a voice that is obviously meant to mock African American soul singers. This "blackfish" (as the film refers to it) could be straight out of a Sambo cartoon. Additionally, there's another fish called the "King of Soul" with large lips that also embodies this offensive, stereotypical portrayal of African Americans.

This sort of imagery has no place in our entertainment or our children's entertainment in 2017. It had no place in 1988 when the movie came out, either, but today this sort of ignorance is even more shocking! This petition calls upon The Walt Disney Company to remove this "blackfish" and the "King of Soul" from all subsequent reissues of The Little Mermaid, on DVD, on-demand, or in any other context. With the magic of digital editing, it should be easy to replace these offensive caricatures with something less ignorant and disgusting.

If The Walt Disney Company fails to do this, then we may have to consider boycotting them on the grounds of racism! Disney has a very problematic past full of disgusting stereotypes, but the company can show a commitment to progress and social justice by trying to erase some of their shameful past and embracing a more progressive outlook today as we try to heal the many wounds of our racist past.



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