Censorship was a primary concern for potential subscribers to Disney Plus since it was announced, with many of Disneys older cartoons and live-action movies and television shows having scenes and imagery that Disney might not think are appropriate in current year.
While Song of the South will likely never see a release on Disney Plus, other movies like Dumbo have been left intact albeit with a content warning.
As users have had more time to poke around Disney Plus, its surprised many that some newer series have been altered as well, with some edits being made and controversial episodes dropped entirely.
Gravity Falls, a popular Disney XD cartoon series, has been on the receiving end of Disneys censorship blade. The series ended only a couple of years ago, but the character of Grunkle Stan has had the symbol removed from his fez in the first part of Season 1.
This didnt sit well with show creator Alex Hirsch, who took to Twitter to call Disney out.
The symbol was supposed to be a fish, but also resembled a crescent moon. Likely it was designed to reflect the symbol of The Shriners, which features a crescent moon shape.
The image changed on Grunkle Stans fez changed in later episodes, to one resembling a clam or fish.
The rumor is that the original version was too close to the flag of the Nation of Islam or the flag of Turkey, and that it was never broadcast with that symbol in some countries overseas. Apparently the Disney Plus version of Gravity Falls is the same edited version that ran abroad.
One of the biggest selling points of Disney Plus was access to every episode of Foxs The Simpsons.
However, its not every episode, and some episodes have been formatted to fit your screen in such a way as to cut out visual jokes.
According to Fast Company, the episode Stark Raving Dad is missing from Disney Plus due to HBOs controversial Leaving Neverland series.
In Stark Raving Dad, Homer is mistakenly sent to a mental institution, where he befriends a man who claims to be Michael Jackson. Its eventually revealed that hes an impostor who admits to speaking like Jackson because it made people happy. Stark Raving Dad was actually pulled from broadcast circulation earlier this year following HBOs documentaryLeaving Neverland, whichchronicles the allegations of child abuse against Jackson. That would explain why Disney chose not to include the episode on Disney Plus.
I guess we shouldnt expect a revival of Captain EO in the parks anytime soon, then?
In addition to dropping the Jackson episode, Simpsons fans are incensed that even though Disney promised to make the earlier episodes available in their native 4:3 aspect ratio, they instead dumped them in a cropped 16:9 format. The cropping has cut some of the visual jokes.
Due to the backlash, Disney has addressed the aspect ratio issue
We presentedThe Simpsonsin 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons (and some episodes from Season 20) ofThe Simpsonsavailable in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series.
However, theres no clarification as to what early 2020 means. Also, there is no addressing the pulled episode episode Stark Raving Dad.
We expect more hiccups as Disney Plus tries to find its footing. While other streaming services might get a pass for a learning curve, Disney Plus is under the microscope given thats its Disney and that the company is seemingly betting the farm on the platform.
Check out this video for more on the Disney Plus censorship issue (language warning.)
[Source: Fast Company]
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