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Jungle Cruise Re-Imagining

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Tribesman? Sure. South American? No. He could be from tons of places in the world and, more to the point, I would suggest that looking at this drawing (and the AA that was derived from it) it's intentionally ambiguous. Anyone who says this drawing definitively depicts the subject as being from a certain location (or a certain tribe, or a certain ethnicity) is desperately trying to tie the AA to a specific culture so that they can then immediately turn around and say, "... so obviously that's offensive to people of that culture." Identity politics don't work if you can't identify the victim.
I'm happy to disagree on the specificity of the reference. He reads as South American to me, and that is how he's described in the April 1971 edition of a WDW pre-opening newsletter called Walt Disney World News:


Regardless of where he may be from, he is clearly meant to portray, in cartoonish terms, a non-white jungle "native". That's the point, and the fact that he looks generic and placeless to you doesn't make him any less problematic.
 

SunsetLament

Well-Known Member
I'm happy to disagree on the specificity of the reference. He reads as South American to me, and that is how he's described in the April 1971 edition of a WDW pre-opening newsletter called Walt Disney World News:


Regardless of where he may be from, he is clearly meant to portray, in cartoonish terms, a non-white jungle "native". That's the point, and the fact that he looks generic and placeless to you doesn't make him any less problematic.

So you're against all cartoonish depictions of non-white people? Are you also against cartoonish depictions of white people, as well?
 

SunsetLament

Well-Known Member
No. Please respond to my actual words. I'm talking about a specific character, not making any blanket statements.

Fine. Could you explain what cultures you believe are okay to depict cartoonishly ... and which cultures for which cartoonish depictions are offensive?

Are all cartoonish depictions of headhunters and shrunken heads offensive? What if they are non-cartoonish depictions?
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
No, of course not.

As to the bolded, I'm not willing to play games. If we can't have an honest discussion about this, free of pretence, I'm not interested.
I am trying to have an honest discussion. I have seen in your posts why you seem to think that some people will be offended, but I simply disagree, since the character is a cartoonish looking person that isn't reflective of any one single culture. Well, except maybe for headhunters. 🤔 Oh, and I'm not a white person, and I'm not offended at all, so please don't lump all of us together.

So saying all of that, my belief is that the ending story of the cruise is going to change along with the rest of the changes that are coming, and Trader Sam simply didn't fit into the new end story. But of course, people have to read all kinds of personal reasons why Disney does things.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Fine. Could you explain what cultures you believe are okay to depict cartoonishly ... and which cultures for which cartoonish depictions are offensive?

Are all cartoonish depictions of headhunters and shrunken heads offensive? What if they are non-cartoonish depictions?
I would prefer to discuss the topic at hand rather than try to establish a set of blanket rules that ignore the specific circumstances and contexts at play. There's nothing I can really add to my earlier post on this:

To me, the key phrase from your post is "context matters". What makes Trader Sam a crude caricature is that he belongs to a long tradition of casting non-white people as uncivilised and barbaric, a tradition that is itself part of a much longer (and still continuing) history of racism. This is why I don't think it's helpful to draw comparisons to attractions and situations that aren't embedded in similar contexts. To take your Haunted Mansion analogy, have dead people been subjected to centuries of systemic oppression and bigotry? Would someone who has recently suffered a family loss and is easily upset by references to death willingly choose to ride an attraction that is self-evidently devoted to the theme of the afterlife?

The imagery on the Jungle Cruise is different, because there is no reason that the unsuspecting guest should expect to see caricatural depictions of black and brown "savages" in a family park in the year 2021. This goes especially for children of colour.

While I understand that opinions are going to vary, I don't quite get why so many here are absolutely resistant to the idea that some guests, without being "outraged" or "offended", might feel uncomfortable upon seeing such imagery, and that the changes being made might be welcome in the eyes of such guests.

I shared a video in an earlier post that I really think is worth watching in this regard. The link opens to the correct segment, which lasts only a minute or two:
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
I have seen in your posts why you seem to think that some people will be offended, but I simply disagree, since the character is a cartoonish looking person that isn't reflective of any one single culture.
A far more accurate idea of my views can be gained from my own words:

While I understand that opinions are going to vary, I don't quite get why so many here are absolutely resistant to the idea that some guests, without being "outraged" or "offended", might feel uncomfortable upon seeing such imagery, and that the changes being made might be welcome in the eyes of such guests.
 

SunsetLament

Well-Known Member
I would prefer to discuss the topic at hand rather than try to establish a set of blanket rules that ignore the specific circumstances and contexts at play. There's nothing I can really add to my earlier post on this:

Yes, but I would prefer you answer the questions I asked. That way I can determine if you are consistent or not.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
A far more accurate idea of my views can be gained from my own words:
The problem is that you can make that statement about practically every single attraction at every single theme park in the world. Someone will be offended by something, so you deal with it by making a change that might have offended less than 1% of the guests, if even that? And how many actually complained to Disney? Anyway, my contention is that Disney did not remove him because they thought he was offensive, but because he simply didn't fit in with the new story.

So are we now supposed to feel offended by this?
1617818028623.png
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
It’s not only “headhunters” who are being made fun of. Trader Sam is said to be South American and depicted in what appears to be tribal clothing. Many guests visiting Disney parks originate or are descended from the places were Trader Sam is supposedly from and are related to the cultures he stereotypically represents. Headhunting is barbaric, but it’s also ceremonial and carries cultural significance and meaning.

The gag is (and has always been), “Look how funny those people who are different from us are!” This is meanspirited humor that only works when everyone is in on the joke and disconnected from the cultural realities being made fun of (see also José the Macaw and the Indians in Peter Pan). Disneyland has a long and complicated relationship to minority and foreign cultures, but they’re trying to do better.

I’ve mentioned in earlier in this thread, but have you ever invited people over to your home for dinner and thought—“hmm, maybe we should make a few small changes to make our guests more comfortable?“ That’s what Disney is doing with these changes.

Don’t worry, you’re still welcome and there’s a lot for you to enjoy!
Umm, no...as a guest at someone's house for dinner I'm just that, a guest and I'm not narcissistic enough to expect my hosts to go out of their way for me. On the flipside, If I'm inviting you to my home, you're playing by my rules. My friends and neighbors know that I'm a Pepsi guy...Coke is kinda verboten in our house (lol). If you want a diet coke, bring it with you...it wont be in our fridge, so it's a bad analogy. Again, I have not heard of 1 person complaining about Trader Sam...this is just a knee jerk reaction by Disney to head off any potential Change.org petitions on JC...

Look, this is just MY opinion, but don't you folks realize you're being played? These are just people with too much free time on their hands saying, let's see how many clicks I can get for starting something. It's one person trying to out due their friend on the internet. Then they can have bragging rights saying "See, I started a petition about JC, it went viral and look at me, I'm famous!!" Going back some, it was the elephant scene in KS...then it's POTC, then Splash, next will be the guns at TSI, the stereotypes in iasw, the shooting gallery, CBJ, CoP, and on and on...yeah it IS a slippery slope and we're already on the slope. If you don't believe that, then you are naive, plain and simple. They're ten steps ahead of JC to see what they can stir up on another attraction. They're kinda like the aliens in Independence Day. They land on a planet, take what they want and move on to the next planet except in these cases, they start a controversy, pat themselves on the back for a job well done and move on to the next unsuspecting target.

I am somewhat amazed that Disney doesn't care about our opinions for ticket & food prices, endless upcharges, using cheap, oppressed labor to make all their tchotchkes to sell at the parks and online, the amount of plastics used to make their packaging i.e., those dreaded clear, plastic clamshell packages...that's ok, because we're making 1000% profit and the shareholders are happy, but someone feels POTENTIALLY uneasy about an character on Jungle Cruise that's probably been seen by a billion people during it's lifetime and all of a sudden, Disney plays CYA, and yanks it from the attraction before attracting ire.

You said it best..."Headhunting is barbaric, but it's also ceremonial..." Let's focus our attention on the ceremonial, not the stereotype and the barbarism...problem solved.
 

Magic Feather

Premium Member
The problem is that you can make that statement about practically every single attraction at every single theme park in the world. Someone will be offended by something, so you deal with it by making a change that might have offended less than 1% of the guests, if even that? And how many actually complained to Disney? Anyway, my contention is that Disney did not remove him because they thought he was offensive, but because he simply didn't fit in with the new story.

So are we now supposed to feel offended by this?
View attachment 546090
WDW's Trader Sam was a caricature of a SE Asian Man, as noted by his exaggerated features that were based on stereotypes that were and are harmful.

Alberta Falls is a mixed race woman who's features were designed in a natural manner, without certain body elements exaggerated for comedic effect and without and stereotypical practices intended for comedy.
 

EagleScout610

Premium Member
The problem is that you can make that statement about practically every single attraction at every single theme park in the world. Someone will be offended by something, so you deal with it by making a change that might have offended less than 1% of the guests, if even that? And how many actually complained to Disney? Anyway, my contention is that Disney did not remove him because they thought he was offensive, but because he simply didn't fit in with the new story.

So are we now supposed to feel offended by this?
View attachment 546090
My money's on we get an AA of her in place of Sam
 

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