What’s woke this week? Disney slapped an “offensive content” label on The Muppet Show, and ensured that the Jim Henson classic can only be seen using an adult account on Disney’s streaming service, Disney Plus.
A disclaimer now appears when viewers attempt to watch the show: “This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”
Disney also released a statement about their decision. “Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together,” the statement reads.
While Disney hasn’t been clear on what exactly the warning refers to, in reporting on these developments, the Daily Mail speculated that it may be in reference to Muppet characters that depict “stereotypes of Native Americans, Arabs and East Asians,” along with the appearance of a Confederate flag in one episode.
Disney has also placed warning labels on several popular family movies, including The Aristocats, Dumbo, Peter Pan and Swiss Family Robinson. Prompted by concerns that these films portray racist stereotypes, the move blocked children under seven from viewing such verboten content on Disney Plus.
I’ve previously highlighted the glaring double standards of Disney. This is a corporation that genuflects to wokeism at the drop of a hat, but that last year filmed scenes of Mulan in partnership with a Chinese Communist Party bureau that oversees the notorious Uyghur internment camps. Disney even thanked the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Safety in the end credits of the film.
In what universe is decades-old humour harmful, but present-day genocide tolerable?
It is universe in which Critical Race Theory reigns supreme, and everyone who disagrees is a racist.
For the uninitiated, critical race theory (or CRT for short) is the view that Western civilisation is inherently racist, and that racism is to be found everywhere—not just in the hearts of individuals, but built into society’s structures, systems and institutions.
CRT suggests that people of colour face oppression in almost every realm of society—predominantly in the legal system, but also in the corporate world, entertainment and media, sports, the political realm, education, and even the West’s customs, holidays and traditions.
This helps explain the proliferation of “journalism” that has managed to spot racism just about everywhere: in freeways, maths, front lawns, chess, the craft beer industry, classical music, being nice, jogging, trying not to be racist, milk, hiking, traffic lights, the climate movement, dogs, Western philosophy, knitting, the countryside, yoga, Bernie Sanders mittens, wine, cycling, science, horse racing, not finding Black people attractive, and finding Black people attractive.
It also helps explain Disney’s hypersensitivity to its own well-loved content.
You’d be hard-pressed these days to find a single Westerner unaware of the painstaking contours of political correctness. It’s the air we breathe. Informing us that a 45-year-old TV show indulges in the occasional caricature is on par with telling us that the sky is blue. Do we really need this kind of tiresome mollycoddling?
More importantly, is all this hypersensitivity helping heal racial grievances—or is it merely highlighting them all the more?