“My school requires that we take Middle Eastern History as a class and I hate it when my teacher regards Aladdin as racist movie and a bad influence on kids. Every time he mentions it I want to shout at him.”
Every time people like this post a confession, I want to shout at the world. Sometimes I wonder if the majority of Disney fans are in denial or if this blog just publishes the confessions from the ones who are…
Aladdin is packed full of racist stereotypes and there’s a danger of children getting the wrong impression of Middle Eastern countries because it’s such an inaccurate portrayal. For goodness’ sake, there’s actually a line that goes: ‘it’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home’. That’s racist in itself. A Middle Eastern person wouldn’t describe their own home as ‘barbaric’. He’s describing it in Western terms. Then there’s the fact that Aladdin, the hero, looks and talks like an American boy next door, but Jafar, the villain, looks distinctly Arabian. It associates that type of appearance with dark magic and villains. Are you telling me that’s not a bad influence on kids?
The fact that it has racist stereotypes in it doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable or that no one should watch it. But it should be watched with an awareness of the stereotypes, and kids don’t have that. Refusing to acknowledge the fact that it isn’t an accurate representation of a particular culture just allows Western companies like Disney to carry on being racist because they’re the majority and it doesn’t matter.
I agree. I read this confession and thought “Why is this person angry that the professor is right?”