This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
Advertisement

Disney pulls Halloween costume after accusations of 'brown face'

Disney, which will release the movie, Moana, later this year, said it was withdrawing the outfit from sale and regretted the offence it caused.

This photograph of a computer screen shows the DisneyStore.com website's Maui Halloween costume.
This photograph of a computer screen shows the DisneyStore.com website's Maui Halloween costume.
Image: AP

DISNEY HAS WITHDRAWN a children’s Halloween costume depicting the tattooed Pacific demi-god Maui after critics accused the entertainment giant of promoting “brown face”.

The full-body, zip-up costume, linked to the upcoming animated feature Moana, featured brown skin with traditional Pacific tattoos, a grass skirt and bone necklace.

Pacific activists accused Disney of cultural appropriation, comparing it to the racially offensive “black face” make-up once worn by white performers in US minstrel shows.

Others labelled the faux-skin costume “creepy”, saying it resembled something from the cannibal thriller Silence of the Lambs.

Regrets the offence

Disney, which will release the movie, Moana, later this year, said it was withdrawing the outfit from sale and regretted the offence it caused.

“The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some,” it said in a statement.

We sincerely apologise and are pulling the costume from our website and stores.

It is not the first time “Moana”, a retelling of Polynesian mythology, has sparked outrage on social media.

When a trailer was released in June, the Maui character voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was slammed for being obese.

Moana Official Trailer Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Critics said it “fat-shamed” Polynesians and reinforced stereotypes of the island nations, which have some of the world’s highest obesity rates.

Tattoos 

Tattoos are a particularly sensitive topic for some Polynesians, as full-body designs were an integral part of their culture that Christian missionaries zealously attempted to stamp out.

On the Cook Islands, tattoos were sometimes scraped off with coral and the practice died out across much of the region, with the exception of New Zealand and Samoa.

In Samoa, the pe’a sogaimiti, a design that scrolls from the upper waist to the knees, is an important rite in the passage to manhood.

It is traditionally applied by striking a wooden club against an ink-soaked bone chisel in an excruciatingly painful practice that can take days to complete.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Disgraced politician Anthony Weiner has reportedly been sexting a 15-year-old>

Read: Dubliners, this is your chance to ‘talk to Joe’ about violent crime in the city>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (123)