i am tired of reblogging walt disney's face so this is going here.
“Problematic” bullshit aside, I would really love to see examples of how Disney movies are turning the world into racist, sexist, terrible people. Because, going on what you’re saying, that would mean literally the entire population fits into that category. That would mean that the millions of people who interact with anything DISNEY are also all of those things. I find this incredibly doubtful. There are far worse things in the world that are influencing children. Besides, let’s totally forget the fact that Disney movies usually incorporate a ‘moral to the story’ that is almost always a positive thing.
First, here’s a list of reading on racism in popular culture and popular culture’s ability to continue and uphold racist images, ideals, and stereotypes throughout American history:
The Effects of Racism in Popular Culture by Danielle Dirks and Jennifer C. Mueller
Thinking of the Children: The Effects of Internalized Racism
Books on Disney and his racism:
Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight by Eric Avila
The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life by Steven Watts
Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince by Marc Eliot
Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas
On bigotry and popular culture:
The Most Racist Characters in Popular Culture - The Daily Beast
Disney’s Latest #Racefail - Racialicious
The Princess and the Frog and the Critical Gaze - Racialicious
Consuming Popular Culture While Trans: Disney’s Little Mermaid - Feministing
Racism in Pocahontas - Contemporary Sociological Theory
The Persistence of Racist Undertones in Disney Films
And a whole list of further resources compiled in one place.
Read, and take it in before you reply:
There is no ONE specific instance in which you could point at, say, a murder and declare “DISNEY DID THIS!" That’s not how pervasive internalized bigotry works. Disney reinforces a message that demonizes blackness (using it as a consistent marker of villainy and showing it triumphed by pureness aka whiteness), that marginalizes and stereotypes ALL non-white characters, that whitens heroes in order to make them heroic, that anthropomorphizes racist stereotypes to reinforce them, and that perpetuates an ideal of femininity and womanhood that is just plain fucking sexist. They are part of young girls’ body image problems, they are part of racist and homophobic struggles (the feminization of male characters is always a sign of evil intentions), and in terms of Disney’s presence OFF of screens, their theme parks – ESPECIALLY Disneyland – have a history that is overtly racist. Until the 1980’s there were NO African American employees at Disneyland, except for Aunt Jemima. When you see that, and when you see other people accept unproblematically, you learn that it is acceptable and correct to view things with all of those bigoted stratifications.
And all of that plays into the ways that racism is expressed in the 21st century, be it overt and extreme – like white folks using the n-word (hint: NEVER OKAY), or assuming that black patrons in stores are shoplifting, or the clear and present racism in US police forces which stop and search people of color tens of times more than they do white folks; or subtle and internalized – like how white girls use "ghetto” to describe things that are low-class, or assuming that people of color are too stupid for the honor track at school, or even just feeling extra Stranger Danger when in a part of your town which is predominantly occupied by people of color. That’s all racism, that’s all bigotry, and that is what Disney is reinforcing for generation after generation of Americans.