Disney Bringing More Cultural Representation into Upcoming Movies

Autumn Zusman, News Editor

     It is a sunny, happy day where everyone is treated equally with respect, but this is not reality, and even though people may not notice, racial injustice is influenced by people’s favorite films. Disney has been known for prioritizing white actors, but over the course of the past few years the studio has started to show more cultural representation in its movies. This is beneficial to everyone because as time passes the push for equality increases, and I think if movies start to have more diverse productions, people will be more accepting to all ethnicities.

     In the upcoming film Raya and the Last Dragon, a Southeast Asian princess is on a journey to track down the last legendary dragon in order to save Kumandra and unite its lands. “Raya and the Last Dragon” is a movie that is not only a different ethnicity than the typical white american princess movies, but instead of waiting for a prince to come and save them, Raya is going to try and save her village herself without the help of a prince. 

     Stereotypes erupted when Disney created such films over and over; only including white characters. It is good that they have started to make princesses of different cultures. It opens the door to a lot more inclusiveness. This paves the way for more movies to have more representation, which can directly affect society, and start to influence people to include all cultures. 

     Everyone should continue to create more diverse movies, and some Disney movies that already represent different cultures include Pocahontas, Mulan, Aladdin, Moana, Princess and the Frog, and now Raya and the Last Dragon.

     If Disney films were to have had the type of diversity it is now starting to show, rather than decades ago, society would have a better attitude towards different cultures. Even if people do not know it, Disney has affected many people in their day-to-day lives. It is clearly not Disney´s fault that there is systemic racism, but they have had a direct influence on it because they had only been filming with white characters for a long time. This reflected on society continuing to give preferences to white people, All races and ethnicities are equal and should be treated equally. In order for these stereotypes to be eliminated. By making its casts more inclusive, Disney will help ensure that people know all races and cultures are equal, and that one is not better than the other. 

     With Disney making more diverse movie productions, this could have a direct affect on younger kids and allow them to be more accepting of other ethnicities, which can result in a better, more inclusive society. Even if people do not realize it, Disney has affected many people’s perspectives on the world in a negative way, influencing people to think that no other cultures matter and that white is the dominant race. 

     Overall Disney should continue to make more culturally representative films because it will allow for a more accepting society where everyone is seen as equal, no matter their ethnicity.