Sky Adds ‘Outdated Attitudes’ Disclaimer for ‘Jungle Book,’ ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’
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Sky, the UK-based Pay TV broadcaster supported by Comcast, has added a number of films to disclaimers for "outdated settings", including the original animated "Jungle Book", "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "The Last Samurai".
In search of Disney's "The Jungle Book" in the Sky Cinema film service, it now says: "This film has outdated attitudes, linguistic and cultural representations that can be offensive today." The same warning was applied to Jon Favreau's 2016 reinterpretation of the classic.
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A review of the up-and-coming streamer Disney Plus, the content of which is also available on Sky as part of the company's output deal, shows that this service already makes it clear that films such as the original "Jungle Book" "contain outdated cultural representations". As previously reported, Disney had warnings about the start of the streamer in 2019.
A total of 16 films in the Sky Cinema are now exempt from liability, including Disney's 1941 animated film "Dumbo". Children's classic "The Goonies"; Christopher Walken's "Balls of Fury"; Eddie Murphy's "Trading Places" and the science fiction sequel "Aliens".
Other films are the original animated film "Aladdin"; 1939 controversial classic "Gone with the Wind"; Peter O’Tooles "Lawrence of Arabia"; Ben Stiller's "Tropic Thunder"; "The Jazz Singer" from 1927; Shirley Temple with "The Littlest Rebel"; Disney's "The Lone Ranger" and 1980's "Flash Gordon".
A Sky spokesman told Variety: “Sky is committed to supporting anti-racism and improving diversity and inclusion both on and off the screen. We are constantly reviewing all content on Sky's own channels and will take action, if necessary, including additional information for our customers to make an informed decision when deciding which films and TV shows they want to watch. "
The company recently committed £ 10m ($ 12m) to support anti-racism and inclusion efforts. Sky has announced it will improve representation of black and ethnic minorities "at all levels" of the company, while working with charities against racism and highlighting racist injustices through select acquisitions and content commissions.
Sky’s move also follows increased awareness among broadcasters and platforms of potentially offensive and discriminatory content in their libraries as part of a renewed global dialogue on race relations following the George Floyd protests.
Earlier this month, Netflix, BritBox, and the BBC's on-demand service, iPlayer, removed the BBC comedy series "Little Britain" out of concern over the use of Blackface by the BBC program.
Last week, creators Matt Lucas and David Walliams apologized for their characterization. Lucas, best known for his roles in “Bridesmaids” and “Polar”, wrote on Twitter: “David and I have spoken publicly in recent years about the fact that we regretted playing characters from other races. We want to make it clear again that it was wrong and we are very sorry. "
Netflix has also permanently removed four comedy shows with outspoken Australian performer Chris Lilley from its platform in Australia and New Zealand.
In the United States, HBO Max tore the film "Gone with the Wind" in 1939 out of concern for his own racist portrayals. However, managing director Sandra Dewey told Variety earlier this week that the platform would eventually resume the film with "careful" design.
Jacqueline Stewart, cinema professor at the University of Chicago and presenter of "Silent Sunday Nights" by Turner Classic Movies, recently announced in a CNN comment that when the film returns to HBO Max, she will give an introduction in which she the film in the film series inserts several historical contexts. "
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