Within days of its reopening, Disneyland's Snow White ride has been met with a lot of backlash. The family-friendly attraction is now receiving intense scrutiny thanks to one of its scenes.
So, what is the controversy surrounding the new Disney ride and why are some calling for it to be canceled? Keep reading to find out.
The Snow White ride's "true love's kiss" scene has drawn some controversy from certain outlets.
Outlets such as The San Francisco Gate reported on the opening of the new Snow White ride, which came after roughly 400 days of closure due to COVID-19, and expressed some distaste for its new final scene. Most are aware of the story of Snow White by now, notably how the protagonist was awakened by "true love's kiss." That scene is prominently featured in the newly revamped attraction.
However, the outlet criticized the inclusion of the fabled kiss scene, suggesting that it furthered the prevalent stereotype in old Disney films of men kissing women without their consent. Some users on social media chimed in and agreed, but Disney itself has yet to release a statement responding to the claims.
"Begin your fairytale journey in the cozy cottage of the Seven Dwarfs, then visit dazzling mines filled with glowing gems. Soon you’ll be riding into the Queen’s sorcery chamber and discovering a magic mirror just as Snow White bites into a poisoned apple!," reads the breakdown of the new ride on Disney's website. "When all looks lost," it adds, "will Snow White find her own happily ever after?"
"The Snow White attraction has such a rich history," Kim Irving, a Disney executive, told eager fans in a statement prior to the controversy bubbling. "We wanted to take into account the beautiful scenic work that has always existed and retell the story in a special way. We believe guests will enjoy this sweet storyline in a stunning experience."
Disney has responded to controversies regarding older content in the past.
The controversy surrounding older Disney content doesn't begin and end with Snow White, as plenty of other well-known works from the animation studio have been scrutinized in recent years. In early 2021, executives announced that it would redesign its Jungle Cruise attraction due to racist depictions of indigenous people. Also, Splash Mountain's theme was changed to align with the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog because the original ride referenced the controversial 1946 film Song of the South.
Disney hasn't opted to remove any of the actual films or television episodes that contain offensive materials from their streaming service, Disney Plus. However, they have started to include "offensive content" warnings on certain episodes of The Muppets as well as on films such as Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Aristocats, and Swiss Family Robinson.