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This film was a big issue here for a while, and it is back in the news: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/disney-accused-of-whitewashing-its-troubling-past-for-omitting-raciallyinsensitive-classics-from-streaming-service-181330560.html

Maybe Disney could answer this charge by licensing the film to a company like Criterion that could cover all aspects of the film in their special features.

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Malcolm R

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Doubtful. Disney might still "get letters" which seems to be their greatest fear based on their comments quoted in the West Side Story thread.
 
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RichMurphy

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Looking at the recent kerfluffle about Kate Smith and sports teams, it seems like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't nowadays.
-Rich (who lives a block away from the formerly named Jefferson Davis Highway)
 

richardburton84

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Let’s not forget that the Kino Lorber Insider mentioned a while ago that they’re are apparently legal issues holding up Song of the South in addition to all the racism issues.

Looking at that article, I’m more concerned about the possibility of Dumbo being censored (which I hope is not true). I’ve never found the crows racist, but more importantly, they’re far too integral to the plot so censoring the crows would leave a pretty big plot hole.
 
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Malcolm R

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Not sure what the legal issues would be, but apparently the film has fallen into the public domain in Japan under local law (according to Wikipedia). Perhaps Disney is afraid if they put out a restored version, it would be used to create pirate copies in that territory (and could spread worldwide out of their control).
 

Edwin-S

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It's a lost cause. I expect Disney's efforts to censor its past will be going up, not down. I'm glad I have copies of "Lady and The Tramp" because I expect that film and others to be subjected to Disney's "sensitivity adjustments" in future releases.
 
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Garysb

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There are plenty of 'black face " numbers that have been left intact in films that are shown on TCM and have been on video. "Abraham" in " Holiday Inn", "Waiting For the Robert E Lee" in "Babes On Broadway" (corrected), "Mammy " from the "Jazz Singer" etc. Even as late as 1974 "That's Entertainment" included a clip of "Waiting For the Robert E Lee" with Mickey Rooney in blackface. Of course these are not Disney. I remember hearing about a scene from the "Three Little Pigs" being redrawn and dubbed many years after its release because the Wolf dressed as a peddler which was a stereotype of a Jew.
Here is that scene from youtube with the original drawing and audio.


And is a comparison between original and redrawn and dubbed versions.

 
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dana martin

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OK first off not to offend, because anymore, the color of the sky could offend someone and they expect the Government to change it to suit there needs, It's Disney's property and it more than likely will never see the light of day or the darkness of a Theater ever again, lucky for me i was able to view it once in 1972, on a elementary school field trip. And i understand the need to not promote racial stereo types but educate people about the time frame that the film or work of art was created in.

Unfortunately most of these enlightened people are looking at the past and judging it by their current standards and they are only seeing the negative, would any think of covering Michelangelo's statue of David because they find it offensive, Mel Brooks early films, the work and humor of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin would be totally lost to them,because the wouldn't understand the social commentary that it was referencing, they have all the answers in the palm of their hands with the word, google tell me, instead of experiencing something. at no time in human history is information so easily accessible, but then it also depends on where you are getting it from, is it viable, accurate and verifiable.

Censorship sometimes is a necessary evil, but not at the expense of completely dumbing down of an entire society, or to completely steer it in the direction of a state run media controlling every thing we think and see. P.S. criterion is going to be releasing 1984 on blu ray, and while not perfect Universal did release Fahrenheit 451. it seem we are moving it the direction of an uncertain future some times.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Disney is going to do what Disney wants to do, WB will do what it feels right, but it has a somewhat better track record, except where it comes to completing all of the Tom and Jerry Theatricals. Thank goodness for outlets like Thunderbean and Cartoons on Film for not allowing many past animated treasures to languish in obscurity away from future generations. Didn't mean for this to be a rant,

I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.
 
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Malcolm R

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That is the one thing I fear about streaming is that at anytime content can be taken out for any reason.
Yep, they get a couple letters about something, they can quickly take it down, make edits, and put the altered version up without having to worry about any pesky discs out amongst the hoi polloi that they cannot control.
 
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StarDestroyer52

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This film was a big issue here for a while, and it is back in the news: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment...lassics-from-streaming-service-181330560.html

Maybe Disney could answer this charge by licensing the film to a company like Criterion that could cover all aspects of the film in their special features.
Disney isn't going to touch Song of the South with a ten foot pole. For now, the version at the Wayback Machine is going to be the best way to view it unless you own the Japanese LaserDisc or the European VHS. Though Song of the South can still be seen occasionally uncut on British TV as late as 2006.

The Dumbo Jim Crow scene bugs me. Disney should keep it intact and do what TCM does when it shows films with blackface by mentioning before the film runs that this film or Disney should issue warnings like the Tom and Jerry cartoons that this cartoon contains scenes with racial stereotypes that were once commonplace but the depictions are unacceptable in today's era.

 

darkrock17

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Dumbo isn't a long movie at just 64 minutes, if Disney were to edit-out the crows scenes and the Song of the Roustabouts the film would then run about 52 minutes.
 
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Arthur Powell

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I've long thought that Disney should do a documentary (a la "Walt and El Grupo") on the production of the film. Explore the origins of the source material and how Joel Chandler Harris was involved. Explain how this material was influential on the culture of the period and how Walt Disney became interested in it. Talk about the film's production and release. Of course, you also discuss the controversy which has accompanied the film since its 1946 release. Interview people like Floyd Norman and Whoopi Goldberg. Bring in scholars like Henry Louis Gates and let them speak frankly. Let's hear a series of diverging and informed opinions ranging from "I love it" to "I hate it" and everything in between. The film is marked by both virtues and flaws so explain them to us. Give the generation that has never seen the movie and only knows it as "that racist Disney movie" a more balanced and nuanced view. Of course, the DVD and blu-ray would include the original film with the documentary, and Disney should take care in releasing it. In other words, don't market it as you would "Frozen," and keep it from easy access of the Walmart soccer moms who use Disney films as electronic forms of babysitting. Sadly, I don't think Disney would consider doing this, and it's a shame.
 

darkrock17

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I've long thought that Disney should do a documentary (a la "Walt and El Grupo") on the production of the film. Explore the origins of the source material and how Joel Chandler Harris was involved. Explain how this material was influential on the culture of the period and how Walt Disney became interested in it. Talk about the film's production and release. Of course, you also discuss the controversy which has accompanied the film since its 1946 release. Interview people like Floyd Norman and Whoopi Goldberg. Bring in scholars like Henry Louis Gates and let them speak frankly. Let's hear a series of diverging and informed opinions ranging from "I love it" to "I hate it" and everything in between. The film is marked by both virtues and flaws so explain them to us. Give the generation that has never seen the movie and only knows it as "that racist Disney movie" a more balanced and nuanced view. Of course, the DVD and blu-ray would include the original film with the documentary, and Disney should take care in releasing it. In other words, don't market it as you would "Frozen," and keep it from easy access of the Walmart soccer moms who use Disney films as electronic forms of babysitting. Sadly, I don't think Disney would consider doing this, and it's a shame.
I could see that as a special on either PBS or CNN, and I would watch some of it as well. Criterion would be the only company to handle and release this film at this point, as they've got nothing to loose.
 

Worth

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Honestly, I think there's very little upside for Disney to do something like this. It would be involve a significant amount of work and expense for something that probably wouldn't sell more than a couple of thousand copies, and they'd still get hell from the social media outrage machine. At best, I could see them letting TCM air it and let them deal with putting it in historical context.
 

darkrock17

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Honestly, I think there's very little upside for Disney to do something like this. It would be involve a significant amount of work and expense for something that probably wouldn't sell more than a couple of thousand copies, and they'd still get hell from the social media outrage machine. At best, I could see them letting TCM air it and let them deal with putting it in historical context.
If this was 90's and early 2000's Disney might of done a limited run of Song of the South, but with today's climate of saying something that could be preceded as even the tiniest bit racists YOU'RE CANCELLED. TCM would be the best to show this film and then have a discussion afterwards, as TCM does monthly spotlight's on different themes and they could do a nice job on selecting a few controversial titles such as this film.
 
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Well we just watched the news and the "official" word is that the Crow Scene will be cut. This scares the crap out of me and it should you as well. The precedent it sets is chilling.

I want to go on a rant about streaming and the ability of studios to decide what past movies we see and what content they contain but I won't. I'm just glad the studios can't get to my library.