Indigenous Group Outraged, Calls on Disney to “Prohibit” Derogatory Performances

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Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

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Recently, Walt Disney World Resort came under fire for a performance by the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District drill team on Main Street, U.S.A.

drill team magic kingdom Port Neches-Groves Independent School District drill team indians
Credit: Screenshot from @zhaabowekwe on Twitter

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The performance went viral after the following video was shared by Tara Houska on Twitter. Houska wrote:

Cuz a bunch of kids in fringe chanting “scalp ‘em Indians, scalp ‘em” is honor, right?

And any Natives who attend @pngisd should prolly just accept their classmates dehumanizing them cuz “tradition”, right?

Shame on @DisneyParks hosting this. Nostalgic racism is RACISM.

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The drill team, called the “Indianettes,” donned Native American-inspired uniforms while chanting “I-N-D-I-A-N-S, scalp ’em, Indians, scalp ’em!” during their performance.

Many Guests, and social media users, were outraged, calling the show “derogatory” and “racist,” among other things.

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Credit: Twitter/@bioreconstruct

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Disney did issue an apology for the incident, as shared by reporter Scott Gustin on Twitter:

“We regret this performance took place, as it did not reflect the audition tape that was submitted. We have immediately put measures in place to ensure performances reflect the auditions. -Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler”

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Now, however, the Florida Indigenous Alliance (FIA) is calling for more action from Disney. Orlando WESH 2 news reported:

“No other racial, ethnic, or religious group of human beings would have their spirituality and culture depicted in such a stereotypical, cartoonish, and vulgar way as was done by the Port Neches-Groves High School’s depiction of Indigenous peoples and culture,” the group wrote in a release.

The FIA says the “demeaning, derogatory, stereotypical” depictions deeply impact the self-esteem of Native children.

“The FIA therefore calls upon Walt Disney Resorts to prohibit performances by institutions which use American Indian people as a mascot. No school in the United States uses African Americans or Jewish people as a sports mascot with the associated stereotypical depictions of each. The time has come to treat Indigenous peoples with respect,” the release concludes.

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Credit: Disney

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At the time of publication, Disney has not publicly responded to the FIA.

What do you think about this ongoing situation?

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