Could Whoopi Goldberg’s inclusion as a Disney Legend finally pave the way for an American re-release of Song of the South?
It’s possible, and something she is very vocally pushing for a dialog about.
“I’m trying to find a way to get people to start having conversations about bringing Song of the South back. So we can talk about what it was and where it came from and why it came out,” Goldberg says.
The controversial 1946 film blended live-action with animation, bringing the stories of Uncle Remus to life.
For his portrayal as Uncle Remus, James Baskett was given an honorary Academy Award, making him the first African American male to receive one. However, Baskett was not allowed to attend the premiere of the film in Atlanta due to segregation.
The film has been all but buried by Disney, with the only evidence of its existence in 2017 being Splash Mountain. With Disney’s push for progressiveness, some might feel that Whoopi going there with Song of the South is a step backwards.
However, it seems she’s more about getting the discussion out in the open. For far too long Disney has pretended that this film didn’t exist, which does nothing to further dialog about why it came to be, and why it’s considered offensive.
Goldberg has been an advocate of classic animation, and a decade earlier recorded an introduction for Looney Tunes DVDs.
“Some of the cartoons here reflect some of the prejudices that were commonplace in American society, especially when it came to the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities. These jokes were wrong then and they are wrong today, but removing these inexcusable images and jokes would be the same as saying they never existed, so they are presented here to accurately reflect a part of our history that cannot and should not be ignored,” Goldberg says in her prologue.
The last time Song of the South was shown theatrically was in 1986 to promote Splash Mountain.
Do you think Song of the South should be re-released, or should Disney keep it vaulted? Comment below!