When Disney’s streaming site launches in the US in November this year, fans will be able to watch the Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian and classic films. However, there will be a notable absence from Disney Plus: the 1946 film Song of the South, which has long been a controversial title for Disney because of how it depicts the lives of African-American plantation workers in the southern states after the civil war.
The company has also decided to cut a scene from Dumbo that is considered racist.
Song - South - US - Box - Office
Song of the South grossed $65m at the US box office but was never released on DVD in the country, partly because of criticism about its depiction of the lives of Uncle Remus and other former slaves on a plantation as idyllic.
Speaking about the film in 2011, the Disney chief executive, Bob Iger, said the film “wouldn’t necessarily sit right or feel right to a number of people today” and that there wasn’t a business case for it either. “It wouldn’t be in the best interest of our shareholders to bring it back, even though there would be some financial gain,” he said.
Film - Company - History - Success - Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
However, erasing the film from the company’s history isn’t simple. The success of the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – which features in the film, won an Oscar in 1947 and is one of Disney’s most well-known songs – makes it extremely difficult. It does, however, have its champions: fans have regularly asked Iger at annual shareholder meetings why Song of the South has not been released on DVD in the US.
A petition on Change.org is calling for the film to be released on DVD in the US on the grounds that: “… the solution is not to bury the film as Disney has done since the 1980s, but rather to release it to the...
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