If you’re looking to be offended, you probably will be. And that’s what seems to be happening with the recent uproar over a controversial Disney children’s costume.
Yes, even children’s dress-up clothes can be offensive.
In anticipation of the release of their new film “Moana,” a story about a girl from the Pacific Islands who goes on an adventure with demigod Maui, Disney released a Halloween costume and a pajama set that lets kids dress up like the Maui character.
According to the website, the costumes featured “the demigod’s signature tattoos, rope necklace and island-style skirt. Plus, padded arms and legs for mighty stature!”
The problem? Apparently Disney was promoting “brownface” by selling costumes that allow people to “put on” brown skin.
In all fairness, Disney should have seen this coming. You would think their PR team would be on high-alert for things like this seeing how our world operates these days.
But good lord! You just can’t win!
For years people have been making a big stink over the lack of cultural diversity and “darker-skinned” characters in Disney movies, so Disney tried to appease them and this is what they get.
“I understand that Disney is trying to be inclusive and also trying to show that their characters are diverse, but there’s an imbalance of power here,” said Tēvita O. Kaʻili, an Oceanian sociocultural anthropologist at Brigham Young University Hawaii. “A dominant group is getting to wear and become part of a marginalized group without any sense of its history, culture or even its struggles.”
Oh, come on!
If anything, isn’t this a way to introduce children to a new culture and teach them about their history?
You have to think there are going to be kids who will see this movie and love the Maui character and want to dress up like him. He’s a big demigod covered with tattoos! How do these naysayers propose Disney make this costume instead? With just a grass skirt and a wig? Or is that too “racist” as well?
Disney has since pulled all of the offending items off the shelves, and they’re probably too scared to try any variations on the original costume, so kids who want to be Maui this Halloween will be forced to come up with their own costume (and probably get egged as they attempt to fill their coffers with candy).
I think the takeaway here is that you just can’t win. No matter what you do, you’re going to have a mob of self-righteous social justice warriors calling foul.
Just do whatever the hell you want, SJW’s be damned.
H/T: The Huffington Post