Disney warns on his streaming service that some episodes of The Muppet Show contain hurtful stereotypes and other offensive material. Five seasons of the absurdist puppet series were posted online Friday.
For 18 of the 118 episodes, a warning comes in. “This program contains negative views and incorrect treatment of peoples or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong at the time and still are.”
“ Instead of removing this material, we want to recognize its harmful impact, learn from it, and start a discussion to create a more inclusive future together.”
Peter Sellers and Johnny Cash
These include episodes with actor Peter Sellers performing the song The Violin of a Gypsy, singer Johnny Cash performing for a flag of the Confederation and comedian Spike Milligan who presents a series of international clichés in the song It‘s a Small World.
Episodes with comedian Steve Martin, actor James Coburn and singers Kenny Rogers and Debbie Harry also find Disney problematic.
One episode didn’t even come online at all, the one with Muppet writer Chris Langham. In Season 5, he was forced to take the place of comedian Richard Pryor, who had injured himself in a fire.
Disney doesn‘t want to explain why the Langham episode is missing, but it’s probably due to his conviction in 2007 to 10 months in prison for possession of child pornography. Earlier the episode was also missing on DVDs of the Muppets.
Disney has already posted warnings for more classics on its streaming service last year, such as the films Peter Pan and Dumbo. The first shows outdated representations of Indians, while the other shows a group of crows that are clearly inspired by racist ideas about black Americans.