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Posts tagged "disney"


Tokyo Disney Resort just held its first same-sex wedding! The country doesn’t have marriage equality quite yet, but these happy brides are a glowing example of what might be coming for LGBT couples in Japan.

(via asiansnotstudying)


imageI don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the park. I want to feel they’re in another world.” - Walt Disney

When I was in Disney World last weekend, I noticed a little storefront in Frontierland, next to the Town Hall, labeled “Chinese Laundry.” I had visited New York’s Museum of Chinese in America only a few days before, and found it interesting that Disney was acknowledging the Chinese presence in the Old West. 

But why is Frontierland’s “Chinese Laundry” just a plain, empty shell? It could just as easily been labeled “Jewish Pawn Shop” or “Mexican Cantina” (to mention two of the many minority groups present in the Old West but often ignored in a typical Western). Nowadays, Disney mixes a little bit of education into its ethnic fluff. EPCOT’s Fake China lets visitors view Xi’an clay soldiers and ancient vases among the greasy food stands and tchotchke shops. It seemed like “Chinese Laundry” had something to hide. 

Uncle Google confirmed my suspicions, and then some. Disney theme parks have created no less than FIVE Chinese laundries. Disneyland in California has the original Chinese Laundry in its “Main Street USA” section. Disney World has its Frontierland Chinese laundry and another absurd Chinese laundry storefront in Hollywood Studios that houses a Chinese restaurant. A third Disney World Chinese laundry, which was located on its own Main Street USA section, closed when a nearby store expanded.

Disneyland Paris’s Chinese Laundry, created in the 1990s, has a mah-jongg parlor on its upper floor. One online reviewer gushes about the location, “Listening to the Chinese chattering reminds you why Disneyland Paris is just so plain wonderful: there is so much to be discovered.”

I have not yet found whether Disney has the gall to put Chinese laundries in its Tokyo or Hong Kong parks. 

Why does Disney have so many Chinese laundries? It probably has to do with founder Walt Disney, who designed the Main Street USA in Disneyland to mirror his Illinois hometown around the 1900s. Today, the Disney parks’ Main Street USAs are revisionist fantasy, pretending our society a century ago was integrated (but with minorities in the minority), without a hint of Jim Crow or Plessy vs. Ferguson. But Walt Disney originally wanted to convey “the way things used to be” …   

image Most launderers at the time of Walt Disney’s childhood were women, mostly black and foreign-born, but a sizable percentage were also Asian men. According to sociologist Peter Li, about 25% of all employed Chinese men in the United States between 1900 to 1930 worked in laundries. So 100 years ago, the Chinese laundryman was a stock character in the popular U.S. imagination. 

This stock Asian stereotype is featured in one of the first movies ever made, Edison Studio’s “Chinese Laundry” (1894), which shows a Chinese man doing acrobatics around his laundry to escape a cop.  When Disney made his own “Silly Symphonies” cartoons, he filled one of them, “The China Plate” (1931), to the brim with horrific Chinese stereotypes. The film stars by suggesting the story takes place within the decorations on a piece of china. Within seconds, a variation on the Oriental riff is heard, followed by eight more minutes of slanty eyes, long fingernails, bound feet, and the like. 

Even as Disney’s work became artistically mature, he still mined anti-Asian racism for laughs. Biographer Michael Barrier says during the writing of “Fantasia,” Disney told his staffers that “a Chinese turtle should dance by moving in a stiff-jointed way and jerking his head back and forth in what a stenographer described as a ‘wooden tempo.’” The evil Siamese cats in “Lady and the Tramp” and an episode of “Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers” bring these racist stereotypes into present times.

Now, Walt Disney was not a complete segregationist. He had talented Asian artists work for him, including Tyrus Wong (still living at age 102!), who was the concept artist for “Bambi.” But within a few years Donald Duck was taking on a Japanese air force base single-handed in “Commando Duck” and Disney turned a blind eye to his former employee, “Snow White” artist Bob Kuwahara, being held in a U.S. internment camp. 

Walt Disney’s racist work was not the product of a lone, diseased mind, but a reflection of a larger, disturbed society. When Disney put a Chinese laundry in his first amusement park, he was also mirroring one of his early rivals, Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in California. In 1940, Knott’s built a Western ghost town, complete with a crude Chinese laundry operated by a character named Hop Wing Lee. To my surprise, visitors more than 70 years later can still peek into the horrid booth and gape at the carved wooden statue of slanty-eyed Hop Wing Lee, smoking in front of an ironing board and singing a looped song in “Mandarin.” Millions of visitors file past the Disney theme parks’ Chinese laundries, but not many are aware that behind the storefronts’ hollow walls lies Hop Wing Lee’s twanging song of cultural belittlement.

A few generations’ worth of nostalgia has kept both the good and the outdated in Disney’s work relevant in our society. The films and theme parks of Disney can entertain us but can also seduce us, leading us to search for ourselves in characters that match our hair color or skin tone, or giving us pat answers for how things can turn out “happily ever after.” It’s up to us to question and subvert the stereotypes, and to not contain our 21st-century souls within 20th-century fantasies.  

African-American runner as Princess Tiana, from promotional material for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.


Actual African-American runner in the 2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon, wearing Minnie ears and a shirt reading “Black Girls Run!”

~ Wheelz

(via 18mr)


In 2002, Star Wars fans learned that fan favorite bounty hunter character Boba Fett was actually a person of color under that distinctive green helmet.  Young Boba Fett was played by actor Daniel Logan, who is of Maori descent.  Fans also learned that Fett was a clone of Jango Fett, a character played by Temuera Morrison,  who is also of Maori descent.  Presumably, the adult Boba Fett would grow up to look exactly like Morrison.  

(Logan is depicted in the above images as a young kid in Episode II and dressed up in Boba Fett’s armor in a fan photoshoot.)

This week, Disney announced plans to produce a new Star Wars movie featuring Boba Fett as the central character.  If the casting for this character remains consistent and is not whitewashed, this Boba Fett film will be one of the most high profile Hollywood lead roles for a Maori actor, ever.

I wouldn’t hold my breath, unfortunately.


by Susana Polo

We are forever grateful for the person who uploaded this deleted scene from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch. The short scene confronts racial ideology of Hawaiians & the idea of perpetual foreigners. It’s such an important scene, we are a bit disappointed it was left on the cutting room floor.

Well, of course it was cut if it addressed these issues.


Ah yes. This thing.

Slanty eyes? Check.

Nón lá knock-off? Check.

Buck teeth? Check.


Reference to fortune cookies? Check.

Chopsticks? Check.

Mock Chinese? “Shanghai-HongKong-Egg-Foo-Young, Fortune Cookie Always Wrong! Hehehe, dat a hot one.” BIG check.

I mean, I always knew this part of the Aristocats was extremely racist, but when you lay out all the different pejorative Asian tropes, it’s AMAZING how much they crammed into a three-minute musical number.


Great. Another Disney cartoon to skip.

(via fascinasians)


You can go over to the Mary Sue and read more but here’s the short version. Over the last 24 hours a post the James Gunn, the director helming the next Marvel movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” created about “The 50 Superheroes You want to have sex with” was dug up.

And what a post it is! Filled with the kind of language I am sure the management of Disney who own Marvel will be thrilled to see!

Beware this is pretty awful slut shaming language with a extra dose of disgusting homophobia.

It goes on. 

And on.

And like many of these polls (such as one run by a “humor” site whose name I will not repeat as to not have their followers come back and harass me after I called them out and ended their fun.) it’s not funny. 

Of course, when the word starting spreading and the shit hit the fan the writer, director James Gunn, did what many people do when caught doing something that perhaps they regret - he deleted it.

Sadly, as smart a dude as he may be, he wasn’t aware of Google Cache.

So what to do? 

Well you could plan on boycotting the movie. But that won’t be out until 2014.

So in the short term perhaps a note to Disney and let them know your concerns. I would think this gentleman might be a good person to send a polite letter:

c/o The Walt Disney Studios500 South Buena Vista St.Burbank, CA 91521-7376




Lets all take a moment to appreciate the Star Wars Episode VII Wikipedia before it gets changed - Imgur

$30 and a hooker.



Disney dropped $4B on Lucasfilms today and will be making new Star Wars movies starting in 2015. And, as many have pointed, out Leia is now a Disney princess.




As the story took on a life of its own, Disney felt they had to come out with a statement clarifying what their make-believe princess is — and isn’t. The end result is that Sofia is not actually Latina.

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(via racebending)


Welcome to another installment of This Week In Fuckery! Today we will be recapping the week of October 5th through the 11th. If you missed any of the previous installments, you can go here to check those out. Trigger warnings for rape, rape culture, racism, transphobia, Islamophobia, and hate crimes in the links. Let’s get this depressing show on the road.



Shake it up made in Japan. Courtesy of Disney. 

It features:



Disney Brand Racism




Terrible Choreographed Numbers to Ke$ha

Really bad acting

Really bad everything

It is somehow worse than the Ramen Girl

I… never thought I would say that

skip to 55:00 for the scene pictured above

But for the most horrific part skip to 1:10:11

Thanks Disney.


Rodolfo Loaiza, Reencuentro — The Two Snow Whites. Oil on canvas.

See more paintings of screwed-up Disney characters by Rodolfo Loaiza.


Black women doctors show appreciation for Doc McStuffins!

We have written a couple of entries in our blog about why we love Disney’s Doc McStuffins.  We have discussed how we believe that this program featuring a little African American girl and her family is crucial to changing the future of this nation.

We also started a campaign to express our thanks to Disney and Brown Bag Films for creating, producing and airing Doc McStuffins.  What started out as a simple collage of a few African American women physicians expressing thanks to Disney and Brown Bag Films has now taken on a life of its own.  When we first started the collage we never thought we would get anywhere close to the current number of physicians who have agreed to lend their image to this project.  But here we stand today with what we believe may be one of the most moving visual images of African American women in some time.

Our latest version of the We Are Doc McStuffins collage is made up 131 African American women physicians from around the world.  They represent physicians from Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Anesthesiology, Ob/gyn, Cardiothoracic surgery, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Orthopedic Surgery, Occupational Medicine, Emergency medicine, Internal medicine, Family medicine, Dermatology, Cardiology (Electrophysiology), Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Neuro-otology , Otolaryngology (ENT), Sports Medicine , Urgent Care, Pediatric Hospitalist, Geriatrics , Medical Oncology, Infectious disease, Preventive Medicine, Allergy & Immunology, Naturopathic medicine, Pediatric Emergency medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehab (PM&R), Naturopathic endocrine/oncology, Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic surgery, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Transplant surgery, Internal medicine hospitalist, General Surgery, Med/peds, Nephrology, Podiatry, Psychiatry and Public Health/Community medicine.

These strong women are graduates of some of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education.  The list includes Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Brown, Stanford, MIT, Xavier University of Louisiana, UC Berkeley, UCSF, Univ of Pennsylvania, Columbia, USC, UCLA, Princeton, Purdue, Yale, Duke, Georgetown, Emory, Howard, Morehouse, Baylor, Case Western, University of Arkansas, University of Washington, Temple, SW College of Naturopathic Medicine, UT Houston, UT Austin, UNT Health Science Center, Spelman College and the University of Alabama.  A special note is that 44 of these great physicians are products of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

These amazing women are providing healthcare in every major US city, plus South Africa, France, the Caribbean and Italy!  We are trailblazers.  We are women of color. We are physicians.  We ARE role-models.  We are Doc McStuffins all grown up!


Kiara Muhammad is the young voice actress of the titular character in the Disney show Doc McStuffins, which is the top rated cable show for kids in the 2 to 5 year old demographic.  

(This means that alongside The Legend of Korra, which took top ratings in kid and teen demographics, lead girl characters of color are rocking this year!   Additional credit to Disney, too, for casting an actress of color to voice the lead role behind the scenes!)