Disney's Song Of The South, Racist, Really?

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flobadob | 14:21 Mon 13th Apr 2020 | Society & Culture
17 Answers
I've heard many times that Disney's 1940s movie Song of the South was racist and I believe that it does not feature on its newly launched streaming service.
However, we watched it recently for the first time and I'm not sure what the issue with the movie is. Yes, there are black characters and they do serve the white folk in the movie on a plantation. But I think that is factually correct of the time that the movie is set in.
What I took from the movie was that an old (black) man used stories to help a young (white) boy to get through a turbulent time. The young boy used the stories to deal with things and in some instances learned to use his mind instead of force to resolve situations in which he found himself.
It was actually quite a sweet movie and definitely rewatchable.
Can anyone inform me as to why the film is considered racist?


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There's some discussion on the film's Wiki page.

I grew up with Joel Chandler's Tales of Uncle Remus and we were always told they had to be taken in the context of a cheery look back at a time and place that was not so cheery as pictured.
You have answered your own Question !
The Black Characters are Slaves !!!
NOT ! the paid employees of the white people they are serving!
How they were shown in the Movie IS NOT how it was in real life !!
Were you there EDDIE? if so, you must be nearing 100!!
EDDIE51, let me get this straight, are you saying that a film, in itself is not racist, is considered to be racist because it doesn't show reality?
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Eddie! You don’t half sound angry!

When I was a little girl I inherited an Uncle Remus book and I loved it. Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear and all. The ‘woke’ take the joy out of everything. Miserable bunch.
One might say the things are seldom "how it was in real life" in the movies.

There would be a lot more skiving and toilet breaks if it was.
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The consensus seems to be it's racist because it's got black people in it, who may or may not be slaves. So by that reckoning you can't make a film depicting slavery.
Maybe it's because it's a kids film and children should be shielded from history.
I'm perplexed.
I am seriously against the airbrushing of history, because history, good and bad, makes us the society we are today.

How are future generations to learn how we got here, if large swathes of culture and history are removed from their experience because they don't chime with modern thinking.

Of course attitudes and behaviours change - if they didn't we would still be bashing each other the head with stone axes. But behaviour change should never equate with trying to pretend that bad things did not happen in order for good to thrive.

Biased history is inaccurate history, and this constant re-aligning of the past to appease modern sensitivities is not the best way to use history to show how lessons are learned, and attitudes are improved.
From Mamya's link:

Since its original release, Song of the South has remained a subject of controversy. Some critics have described the film's portrayal of African Americans as racist and offensive, maintaining that the black vernacular and other qualities are stereotypes. In addition, the plantation setting is sometimes criticized as idyllic and glorified.

And then a lot more detail is given here:
I remember it well, such a lovely film. It was of its time, and probably wouldn't be made these days.
I remember watching that when I was little. Dear me, I had no idea it was racist.
I thought the old black man was brilliant. I think he cracked walnuts in his fingers. I was well impressed.
I'm not aware of the film but think I get the gist - does that not mean then that all old movies depicting the deep south are racist and should be removed from viewing - Gone with the Wind and Jezebel for example?
If Disney owned the rights, maybe they would be
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Maybe 'Darby O'Gill and the Little People' should be tagged as racist as well.
If someone has an agenda they could target any number of nursery rhymes,poems,songs,books,films and have a field day with jokes.

I haven't got that mindset and have much better ways to fill my time.

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