Racist and Sexist Stereotypes in Disney’s Aladdin
Disney has come under fire in recent years for the obvious racist and sexist visuals and sounds that appear in countless Disney children movies. The movie Aladdin is full of racist stereotypes dealing with the Middle East and its people and also sexist stereotypes against women. These stereotypes are found all throughout the movie and are obvious. There is no attempt to hide them; the remarks are blatantly stated and shown constantly within the natural flow of the movie.
In the opening scenes of the movie you can see a darker man riding a camel in traditional Arab clothing. The man is traveling through a desert with the sun beaming down on him. This scene is very typical when the Middle East is thought of. Sure part of the Middle East is covered in desert but that is only a small part of it. Some parts of the Middle East are covered in lush forest and mountains with wide rivers running through, and camels are not the only form of transportation in the Arab world. These images are only a small part of what the Middle East contains. This stereotype is a big one and is abused in the Disney movie.
While this opening scene is going on a disturbing song is accompanying it. The song is playing played by traditional Arab instruments the singer is a man with a thick Arab accent. The typical Middle Eastern music is not the main issue with this scene. When you listen to the words you can hear the man singing, “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.” What are the Disney songwriters teaching children about the Middle East with this line? Are they trying to say that people from the Middle East are ruthless and will commit an act of violence without a reason? This message is harmful to a child and could influence the way they look at people from the Middle East. By representing them in this racist way in a children’s movie, the children watching are influenced to...
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