Disney is running monthly checks on its content, in which a group of advisers talk via videoconference to tell the media conglomerate about which parts of its enormous body of content are not acceptable to liberals.
No one appears to be advising them on conservative, patriotic or faith-based content.
Shows and characters that have gotten the leftist boot include Song of the South; Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks; an episode of The Muppet Show where Johnny Cash sings a duet with Miss Piggy in front of a Confederate flag, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“We’ve had some very raw conversations on those Zooms,” said Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Association, who sits on Disney’s advisory council along with representatives from groups like the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
Also involved are representatives from various departments at Disney, including programming, public policy and of course: diversity and inclusion.
Disney asks Robertson and his colleagues to watch content that may contain stereotypes or insensitive imagery and offer their “perspectives.” Some shows and films, like various episodes of The Muppet Show that Disney added to its streaming platform in February Feb. 19, have ended up with dark warning messages that cautioning viewers – who Disney seems to regard as sheeplike and incapable of judgment – about “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures” as if these things were carcinogens and the shows packs of cigarettes.
“They want to make up for any offensive messaging they may have been a part of,” Robertson says. “It feels sincere, and it’s also good business.”
For studios launching new streaming services and trying to attract 2021 audiences, decades-old archives of material are minefields of racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bias that the public is apparently unable to view in a historical context.
Studios are adding content warnings, removing shows or films entirely, or creating new content that contextualizes older programming, as WarnerMedia’s classic TV network, TCM, is doing with a new series called Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror, which begins March 4.