Disney has said the Muppet Show is guilty of promulgating "negative depictions" and has posted a disclaimer to warn those who want to watch the famous comedy series on its Disney+ video-streaming platform of its offensive content.
"This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. 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", reads the disclaimer.
It’s unclear which episodes of the show Disney had in mind when it warned viewers about mistreatment of people and stereotypes; some characters depict Asians, Middle Easterners and those indigenous to the Americas. And in one episode singer Johnny Cash sings a song in front of a Confederate flag.
The news set Twitter ablaze with users wondering what the reason was for the disclaimer.
WTF......that is all.— MarkDesigns (@MarkDesigns3) February 22, 2021
What's so offensive about stuffed animals?— Daniel Haug (@hauda01) February 21, 2021
Even liberal-minded users couldn’t grasp what prompted Disney to make such a move.
“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact...” I am deeply liberal and even I find this insane- and funny. The Muppet Show’s harmful impact? Was Kermit a misogynist? #CancelKermit pic.twitter.com/XyDv6Fbfyq— Felicia Consuelo 🌹 (@FeliConsuelo112) February 21, 2021
Some suggested that humour has been cancelled and wondered what else would be labelled offensive.
Spoiler: next week it'll be light, gravity and matter itself.— Barny Fraggles (@BFraggles) February 21, 2021
The Swedish Chef is offensive to all Scandinavians. Humor is cancelled.— Beeer (@beeer) February 22, 2021
Many users bashed the company and the woke movement.
Disney has gone to the dogs! Maybe a boycott would be a good idea!— norma contestable (@normacontestab1) February 22, 2021
I cant wait for when society has “had enough” of “woke”. The result of the 180 should be spectacular.— Tony Montana (@TonyMon96952723) February 21, 2021
Others claimed to have found negative depictions in the comedy show.
Was it because of Miss Piggy’s karate-chop violence or her sexual harassment of a frog?— Алан 🇷🇺✝️ (@alanmnicholson) February 22, 2021
Apparently Kermit’s name was also on the flight log for Jeffrey Epstein’s plane.— Anthony Frattali (@afrattali66) February 21, 2021
Companies worldwide have been reassessing their offerings after last year’s massive protests against racial discrimination and police brutality. They initially began in the United States after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, at the hands of a white police officer. The protest then swiftly became international.
Since then several corporations - including Mars, Unilever, Nestle, L’Oreal, Quaker, Knorr and Dreyer's Ice Cream – have renamed their products, which were perceived as racist or discriminatory. Video-streaming companies such as Netflix, HBO and BritBox have removed shows and movies, which were deemed offensive, one of them being "Gone with the Wind", one of the greatest films of all time.