Disney Adds Disclaimer On The Muppet Show Episodes Over Negative Content

Disney Plus added a content warning at the beginning of 18 episodes of The Muppet Show, which began airing on the service on Friday.

“This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” it reads.

“These superstitions and misconceptions were wrong then and are wrong now.”

Disclaimer Added

A disclaimer has been added to each episode for a variety of reasons, including one in which Johnny Cash sings in front of the Confederate flag.

Confederacy was a group of southern side fighting to keep slavery intact during the US Civil War, and the flag is considered a symbol of racism by many people.

Disney’s response added: “Instead of removing this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”

The advice note comes after a few months of review of films and TV shows that can be considered offensive by today’s standards.

Negative Content

The re-assessment of old content was prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, and has sparked debate around programmes and films ranging from Fawlty Towers and Gone With The Wind to Little Britain and Bo’ Selecta.

Eighteen episodes of The Muppet Show have been taken from the five-part series by Jim Henson, which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s and featured Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

Apart from Cash, other guests of the episodes in question include Steve Martin, Cleo Laine, Spike Milligan, Debbie Harry and Kenny Rogers.

According to the LA Times, the warning refers to negative depictions of people from other cultures including Native Americans and those from the Middle East.

The publication also notes that two episodes of last season were left out – one featuring Chris Langham, who was a writer on the show and stepped in after the departure of a celebrity guest host.

The actor, who went on to star in Armando Iannucci’s The Thick Of It, was sentenced to 10 months in prison in 2007 for downloading indecent videos of children from the internet.

Similar Warnings In The Past

However, another episode, starring guest host Brooke Shields, is absent from Disney Plus for a different reason – music rights.

Several songs have also had to be edited in other episodes due to copyright and licensing issues.

Similar disclaimer warnings have been added earlier to Disney films such as Aladdin, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats and Dumbo.

The Disney Stories Matter website offers many of the above films as examples of films they feel need a disclaimer and the reasons why but there is no reference to The Muppets as yet.

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Shaheer Ansari

Shaheer is passionate about living a life seeking un-ending knowledge, philomath, as you may think of him. He's a student of Finance and a keen observer of Business and Indian-Political scenario who takes pleasure to pen down his views and opinions on the same. As his guiding mantra to life, ‘Come what may , life goes on’ helps.

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