Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their whacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
Being “woke” seems to be more contagious than the novel coronavirus as people and companies scramble to make sure they are politically correct and up to date with the newest demands. Disney has taken a lot of heat for such changes in the past, and a recent adjustment has, once again, produced public indignation.
At the Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando, FL, the Happily Ever After pre-show will no longer begin with “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls.” Instead, the new greeting will be “Good evening, dreamers of all ages.” Here are some of the outraged tweets following the discovery:
From Mrs. NYsaggitarious: “Okay sorry Disney but that’s absurd!!!! I honestly didn’t see anything. NOT a single thing wrong with that saying before. Like what the hell is wrong with saying ‘Ladies and Gents????’ Or boys and Girl????’ PLEASE!!! somebody TELL ME. SMDH.” Commenter TasukiFB broadened their message to include other businesses, saying: “People and companies really need to stop changing everything that was originally made, discussed or founded on just because people cry and moan. These things were in place way before the new gen of babies were, there is no way in hell to cater to everyone who whines…..”
The new greeting probably wouldn’t have gained so much negative attention if people weren’t already fed up with Disney’s rapidly growing list of woke changes. Just look at some of the alternations the entertainment company has already made:
Movie Warning Labels
Classic Disney movies now have a warning label to inform viewers that what they are watching has culturally offensive material. The reasons for such listings are below:
Dumbo (1941): The lead crow is called Jim Crow, a reference to the segregation laws of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Peter Pan (1953): Native Americas are called “redskins,” and their dancing in headdresses is a “form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples’ culture and imagery.” The song “What Makes the Red Man Red” was changed to “What Makes the Brave Man Brave.”
Lady and the Tramp (1955): Siamese cats Si and Am are criticized for stereotyping Asians, while the dog pound scene is condemned for portraying worldwide stereotypes. Boris, the Russian Borzoi, for example, speaks in a thick Eastern European accent.
Jungle Book (1967): The big gripe here is that the ape, King Louie, is perceived as a racist stereotype of black people.
Aristocats (1970): The cat Shun Gon is voice by Paul Winchell, a white actor. He sings “stereotypical” Chinese words and plays the piano with a pair of chopsticks.
The Jungle Cruise, which opened in 1955, is closed now while crews work on updating it to remove “negative depictions” of the native people. Apparently, the attraction depicts them as savages or subservient. Splash Mountain is also being overhauled to eliminate any association with black stereotypes because it was based on the 1946 film Song of the South. The Snow White ride is also getting a makeover, but it isn’t enough for critics because it still has the Prince kissing the sleeping princess. A reviewer for SFGate wrote, “A kiss he gives her without her consent, while she’s asleep, which cannot possibly be true love if only one person knows it’s happening.”
Cheers And Jeers
Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings – honorable and dishonorable – by the tenants of Tinseltown.
Osbourne Out, O’Connell In
Sharon Osbourne left her position on The Talk in March after being called out as a racist after a heated debate with Sheryl Underwood. Osbourne had defended a friend, Piers Morgan, saying that while she disagreed with his comment that Meghan Markle was suicidal, she believed he had a right to his opinion. She was called racist for her support and ended up crying in her dressing room.
Co-host Elaine Welteroth tried to comfort Osbourne, saying, “I know you’re not racist.” She claimed the hosts were “set up” to create such a charged conversation. Now, actor Jerry O’Connell will be taking over as co-host. He is the first full-time male permanent co-host to be on the show.
Lesbian Nun Drama Gets Praising Reviews
Benedetta is a lesbian nun drama directed by Paul Verhoeven that premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. It has been classified as an “erotic drama” about a 17th-century young nun who has an affair with another nun, inspired by historian Judith C. Brown’s nonfiction book. It stars Virginia Efira and Charlotte Rampling.
Jordan Ruimy of World of Reel had nothing but praise, saying: “Absolute Verhoeven. Erotic, violent, religiously sinful and absurdist. You have never seen a movie quite like this one. It’s a feminist take on Christ. If Virginie Efira doesn’t win Best Actress then there is no God.”
Xfinity’s Peacock Introduces New Dating Show
For those who enjoy dating shows, Peacock’s got a doozy. Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance is being billed as a Regency-style dating series with the intent of bringing traditional romance inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novels back to dating – at least as far as reality TV is concerned:
“A group of eligible hopeful suitors will have to win the heart of our heroine, and her court. Housed in a castle on the countryside, set on a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills, the heroine and suitors will experience that with which dreams are made of. From carriage rides and boat rides on the lake to archery and handwritten letters to communicate, they will be immersed in a time-traveling quest for love. In the end, our heroine and her suitors will discover if the ultimate romantic experience will find them true love … With the help of her court, our heroine will determine who most deserves to vie for her heart.”
Casting is currently in progress.
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.