Disney’s Mary Poppins is RACIST! UK Changes the Movie’s Rating?!

Disney’s Mary Poppins is a racist movie, according to the board that rates movies in the UK. The crime? Using an outdated slang term for South African people and Mary Poppins wearing “blackface” during the ‘Step in Time’ number. Stop giggling, they’re serious. Then we talk about other movies and shows that Disney themselves have found to be “problematic” in current year.

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Additional Context:
In the ever-evolving landscape of cultural sensitivity and historical reassessment, even the most cherished cinematic classics are not immune to scrutiny. The recent buzz around Disney’s “Mary Poppins” highlights this ongoing cultural reckoning. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), responsible for rating movies in the UK, has raised eyebrows and ruffled some feathers by labeling “Mary Poppins” as potentially problematic or offensive due to its use of outdated slang and imagery.

The specific criticisms leveled at “Mary Poppins” revolve around two main points. First, the movie supposedly uses an outdated slang term for South African people, which by today’s standards is considered derogatory and insensitive. Second, and perhaps more controversially, is the accusation of Mary Poppins wearing “blackface” during the iconic “Step in Time” chimney sweep number. This claim hinges on the scene where Mary, Bert, and the chimney sweeps have their faces covered in soot as they dance on the rooftops of London. Some interpret this as a form of blackface, a historically racist practice where performers darkened their skin to caricature African-Americans.

Before you spit out your tea in disbelief, it’s worth noting that these interpretations are part of a broader trend of reevaluating media through a contemporary lens. This isn’t to say that “Mary Poppins,” a film beloved by generations for its whimsy, magic, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious charm, was created with malicious intent. However, it does underscore the growing awareness and sensitivity to racial stereotypes and historical contexts in which these movies were made.

Disney itself has not been shy about confronting the more problematic aspects of its legacy. In recent years, the entertainment giant has taken steps to acknowledge and address the racially insensitive content in some of its older films and shows. For instance, upon the launch of its streaming service, Disney+, the company included disclaimers on certain classic titles, noting that they contain “outdated cultural depictions.” These disclaimers aim to contextualize the content for modern audiences, acknowledging that what was once considered acceptable may no longer be so.

Other Disney classics have come under similar scrutiny. “Dumbo” (1941), for example, has been criticized for its depiction of African-American stereotypes through the character of the crows. “The Aristocats” (1970) and “Peter Pan” (1953) also feature characters and scenes that perpetuate racial stereotypes. In response, Disney has moved some of these titles into a special section on Disney+ with restricted access for children’s profiles, ensuring that viewing these films is accompanied by a conversation about their historical context and the evolution of societal norms.

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