“We wants the redhead!” indeed.
Ever since Disney announced upcoming changes to the venerable Pirates of the Caribbean, there’s been a significant amount of pushback from longtime fans. The attraction has already been updated in Disneyland Paris, and those changes will be rolled out in Disneyland and Walt Disney World sometime next year.
The changes called for the alteration of the infamous “wench sale” auction that includes “The Redhead.” Disney felt that “wench sales” have no place in their parks in 2017, and broke the news via the official Disney Parks Blog. The Redhead would remain, but would now oversee the auctioning of loot as a pirate herself.
You can see the revised scene from Disneyland Paris in the video below.
While Disney probably expected thunderous applause for being so progressive, the reaction was overwhelmingly negative from many park goers.
In addition to vocal dissent on Disney fan forums, blogs and podcasts, a petition was created on Change.org that’s closing in on close to 40,000 signatures in a few short weeks.
In fact, the announcement was even met with boos at Disney’s D23 Expo last week.
Why is Disney changing ‘Pirates of the Caribbean?’
Disney said that they were changing the attraction to reflect modern sensitivities to human trafficking, and that apparently the change was a long time coming. There was some hesitancy, however, because Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride Walt himself oversaw.
According to the LA Times, Disney consulted with various groups dedicated to diversity and inclusion — as well as its own in-house Women’s Inclusion Network — to finally pull the trigger on the change.
Imagineering decided to adapt the ride for a generation weaned on strong female Disney characters such as Merida, Elsa, Moana and Judy Hopps.
In 2017, Disney is all about putting strong female character front and center. From Rey in Star Wars to the modern Disney princesses like Elsa and Merida, the company apparently felt selling women off at auction is a direct contradiction of its brand going forward.
Park guests don’t have to like it, but don’t anticipate mass boycotts of the ride. Many casual park attendees probably won’t even notice the difference.
[Source: LA Times]