One of Disney’s biggest releases of the year is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Right now, Disney is prepping for the release of their new spine-chilling movie, Haunted Mansion. The announcement of a Haunted Mansion 2023 remake has sparked excitement and anticipation among Disney fans. However, a much deeper conversation is coming to light as concerns over the film’s cultural appropriation arise.
Addressing Cultural Appropriation Concerns
Unfortunately, Disney has a long history with the concept of cultural appropriation. Disney has been accused of perpetrating negative racial stereotypes numerous times in the past, so this latest scandal does not come as a surprise to many.
The film, which premiers on July 28, features a star-studded cast, including Lakeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, and Danny DeVito. The movie trailer shows that this version seems genuinely scary and much more serious than the 2003 remake, which starred Eddie Murphy.
So far, fans love all of the content being pushed out about this movie. However, one detail from the film’s poster is leaving fans with a bad taste in their mouths.
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Is Disney Appropriating?
Disappointed fans are furious after Disney included white sage in the poster for Haunted Mansion. White sage is a plant that is considered sacred to Indigenous communities, and many Native people see the use of it by non-natives to be considered cultural appropriation. Weshoyot Alvitre, a Tongva comic book artist, called out the poster and is demanding justice. Their post reads;
“This is some cultural appropriation @DisneyStudios @Disney and needs to be remedied with an apology NOW! Our traditional plants are not yours to exploit in this way #ProtectWhiteSage Please #retweet. Our medicine is NOT for your entertainment”
This is some cultural appropriation @DisneyStudios @Disney and needs to be remedied with an apology NOW!
Our traditional plants are not yours to exploit in this way #ProtectWhiteSage
Please #retweet. Our medicine is NOT for your entertainment pic.twitter.com/ZmiGD17HGW
— Weshoyot Alvitre (@weshoyot) June 27, 2023
The conversation about the use of white sage has been around for quite a while, and some think it was a big thing for Disney to overlook. It will be interesting to see if any comment is made by Disney on the subject. With the film just weeks away, this story could become a major issue for the movie’s publicity.