Polynesians Praise Disney for Pulling Controversial Moana Costume
If you were hoping to dress your tykes as Polynesian God Maui for Halloween, you better figure out a new plan, as Disney has pulled this highly controversial costume. Today, the Polynesian community is praising Disney for its decision to axe this getup. Thankfully, Moana opens well past October, so demand for the costume in question had not yet risen to a fever pitch by any means.
Hollywood in general isn't having a great time with the so-called social justice warriors as of late, but it is Disney who have continually come under fire for their more recent releases. Last year, GLAAD accused Disney of having the least gay-friendly movie releases out of any other studio, with some demanding that an LGBT character be added to Star Wars. The filmmakers behind the studio's upcoming Marvel superhero adventure Doctor Strange have continued to defend the casting of white woman Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, a role reserved for an elderly Asian man in the comics. While they couldn't reverse the casting in this movie that opens in just two months, they certainly didn't waste anytime trying to appease those they offended with their latest offering.
Dwayne Johnson voices Maui in Disney's original animated adventure Moana. The costume in question depicted his character's likeness. The brown outfit was fitted with long sleeves and pants that featured full-body tattoos. Those critical of the costume claimed it was wrong to have a child dress in the skin color of another race. According to BreakingNews.ie, some claimed it was worse than Black Face.
Native Hawaiian college student Chelsie Haunani was one of the more vocal advocates acting out against the costume, and says Disney only pulled it because critical voices were being heard. Haunani is currently studying in Texas, and she is one of the many who have accepted Disney's apology for releasing this costume in the first place. Disney issued their apology on Wednesday, saying they regret offending certain individuals with their costume.
The MoanaMaui costume is being pulled off store shelves and from online retailers right now. Which makes the costume a collector's item if you can still find it. With Moana, the movie's creative team and cast took a great deal of care not to disrespect the culture it representes, and to respect the people of the Pacific that inspired this sure to be classic.
In Moana, an adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity. You can take a look at the costume in question in this tweet.