Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South will not be featured on its streaming service Disney +, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the past, the film has not been released on DVD in the U.S. CEO Bob Iger reflected on the absence of the film from the public saying that parts of it “wouldn’t necessarily sit right or feel right to a number of people today…it wouldn’t be in the best interest of our shareholders to bring it back, even though there would be some financial gain.”
The plot centers on Uncle Remus, a black man living during Reconstruction. The film merges live action and animation, portraying an “idyllic” representation of life for African Americans post-Civil War. Oscar-winning song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” has been the most familiar part from the film to Disney fans and viewers alike. While this decision is made keeping in mind that the streaming platform is family friendly, there is another side to this situation arguing that withholding the film does not remove any tension surrounding its existence. In Jame Snead’s book White Screens, Black Images: Hollywood from the Dark Side, Snead discusses the absence of controversial films stating that “It is not true what we see on the screen. On the contrary, when the absence is repeated constantly, then we see it is not there. Absence becomes reality.”
The platform will also exclude a scene in Dumbo that depicts a crow named Jim Crow, which refers to the first minstrel character created in 1828. This name was later used to label the segregation laws that followed the Civil War.