When Disney announced the giant launch catalogue for its streaming service Disney+ last year, claiming to offer unprecedented access to the Disney vault, many people joked about the obvious and justifiable exclusion of its 1946 plantation musical Song of the South. Why in the world would Disney hide its most shameful and outright racist movie from the public? So much for offering the company's complete back catalogue. Well, bad news for Disney completionists and fans of racism: Disney executive chairman Bob Iger confirmed today that Song of the South will not be coming to Disney+, ever.
Answering a question at the company's annual shareholders' meeting, Iger spoke as to whether the full Disney library would appear on the service at any point in the future. While he did confirm that the company will likely digitise additional library titles, Deadline reports he said Song of the South would not be among them, due to being "not appropriate in today's world." This is in keeping with the history of the movie, which has never been released on any home video format.
Iger's choice of language is remarkably soft, given the movie's reputation. Claiming it's "not appropriate in today's world" implies that it was appropriate at any point in its life, when in reality it saw pushback upon its initial release - and from African-American performers asked to appear in it, even before it entered production. Iger's words are in line, however, with the similarly soft disclaimer used on the likes of Dumbo, which also features its share of racist caricatures. That movie streams on Disney+ accompanied by the message "This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions”. That's right: "may."
Desperate parties can still experience a portion of Song of the South by visiting Disneyland, Disney World, or Tokyo Disney, and riding Splash Mountain.