The Patriot Post® · Splash Mountain Canceled for Being Awash in Racism

By Emmy Griffin ·

One of the most beloved and nostalgic classic Disney World rides has run its last course. Splash Mountain is a water ride that takes parkgoers through the world of Brer Rabbit and his friends. The ride opened in 1992 and was based on the 1946 movie “Song of the South,” which is based on African folk tales and slave yarns written down by Joel Chandler Harris. The ride and its content are hardly controversial, but the movie is considered problematic for the anti-racist crowd.

For those familiar with the film, it was set in the reconstruction-era South. This time period is already fraught with triggers for the woke race baiters; however, the film itself did not age well. The biggest criticism by dissenters is that the black plantation workers were shown as being happy to stay, and the movie glosses over the fact that many former slaves didn’t want to leave the only home they knew or felt trapped by the laws and regulations of the era. They also find that some of the black performers were acting like they would if they were performing a minstrel show.

Those who argue the merits of the movie point to the fact that Uncle Remus, one of the main protagonists, is not only an excellent and caring role model to little boy Johnny, the other main character — whose parents are absent, neglectful, and relicts of a pre-Civil War plantation mentality — but he acts as a preserver of tales, a rich African storytelling tradition.

On the charge of minstrel performance: This is an oversimplification of a song and dance performance that was used by white people to emphasize the different stereotypes of black people. Black actors and actresses, specifically Hattie McDaniel, reclaimed that form of mockery and used it to instill a sense of subversion and pride to her black audiences. It’s important to note that McDaniel was also the first black actress to win an Oscar for her role in “Gone With the Wind.” She is also in “Song of the South” in the role of Aunt Tempy, the cook and mammy-type character that made her famous. Seeking to hide or minimize the role of minstrel shows in the development of black acting is in essence taking away an important piece of black American history.

James Baskett, who played Uncle Remus, won an Academy Award for his performance of the iconic Disney song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” making him the first black actor to receive an Oscar. By erasing the main film in his filmography, is it not essentially erasing his achievements? How is that not racism?

Splash Mountain was focused on the stories that Uncle Remus tells. His tales are an adaptation of African folk tales in the great tradition of oral storytelling. The ride is being revamped and turned into a “Princess and the Frog”-themed ride.

“Princess and the Frog” features the first black princess in the Disney pantheon, and it really is a great story. Tiana, the princess in question, extolls the virtues of working hard for your dreams and not relying on wishes. The Louisiana Bayou, in which her story is set, is rich with Cajun and Creole culture and is an important part of the African-American story. It’s hard to argue with the proposed update, except that switching Splash Mountain to a Princess Tiana ride erases black American cultural history. As great as “Princess and the Frog” is, the story is Dutch, not African, unlike the Uncle Remus stories.

Why would Disney make such a drastic switch? As Megan Basham of The Daily Wire noted, Disney yet again caved to a small group of activists. The petition to cancel the classic ride garnered 20,000 signatures. A counter-petition to keep the ride had 100,000 signatures. Sadly, Disney used the minority vote as an excuse to shut down Splash Mountain.

The Walt Disney Company is full of woke idealists who have been making these sorts of changes steadily throughout the past few years. They stopped saying “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” to appease the LGBTQ+ activists. They have been making movies such as “Lightyear” that push the LGBTQ+ agenda. Whenever any fan pushes back against a poorly written character, Disney will find a reason to blame the fans instead of change its business model.

Disney truly believes in forcing its woke worldview on the masses. That is why the company has been losing money hand over fist. Furthermore, according to a new poll, 68% of Disney fans say they felt as if the Disney World Theme Park has lost its magic.

It’s sad to see a company once so beloved sink into a vortex of its own ideological mess. But we’d rather see it sink than succeed in corrupting and destroying the next generation.