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Sky adds ‘outdated attitudes’ disclaimer to some classic films

Sky has warned viewers that Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Flash Gordon, The Jungle Book and Aladdin have ‘outdated values’, as broadcasters respond to concerns that some content is no longer acceptable. 

Sky Cinema, the broadcasting giant’s movie service, has issued a disclaimer to its subscribers that some of its content ‘has outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today’. 

Sixteen films have the warning, including The Goonies, Aliens, Dumbo, Gone With The Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Tropic Thunder, The Jazz Singer, The Littlest Rebel,  The Lone Ranger, Balls of Fury and The Last Samurai. 

It comes after other TV shows and films were taken off streaming services or had warnings added, most notably when Little Britain most notably pulled from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox in a row over blackface characters.

Sky has issued a disclaimer alongside a number of its films that have ‘outdated values’ including the 1961 hit Breakfast At Tiffany’s (pictured: Audrey Hepburn)

The broadcasting giants say it is reviewing films that ''has outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today''

The broadcasting giants say it is reviewing films that ”has outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today”

Disney original animations of The Jungle Book, Dumbo and Aladdin on Sky now carry the new warning over content.

The same disclaimer was also added to the 2016 live-action remake of The Jungle Book and the 2019 Aladdin movie. 

But the broadcaster later removed the warning from the Aladdin remake, saying that it was a mistake.

Critics have expressed concerns over the story’s use of Orientalist stereotypes, while casting decisions also came under scrutiny, with Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the genie played by white actors in the animation.  

Dumbo has been accused of containing racist stereotypes of African Americans at the time in the form of black crows, who use jive-like speech patterns. The main bird is even named Jim Crow, a nod to the racist segregationist Jim Crow laws of the time, and is voiced by a white actor. 

The 1992 version of Aladdin as well as other popular Disney animations such as Dumbo and The Jungle Book also have the same warning issued alongside them (pictured Aladdin)

The 1992 version of Aladdin as well as other popular Disney animations such as Dumbo and The Jungle Book also have the same warning issued alongside them (pictured Aladdin)

Aladdin has long been criticised for its use of Oriental stereotypes and casting decisions

Aladdin has long been criticised for its use of Oriental stereotypes and casting decisions

Which movies on Sky have been given a disclaimer?

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • The Jungle Book (1967 and 2016 live-action remake)
  • Aladdin (1992)
  • The Goonies (1985)
  • Dumbo (1941)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Trading Places (1983)
  • Flash Gordon (1980) 
  • Gone With The Wind (1939)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Tropic Thunder (2008) 
  • The Jazz Singer (1927)
  • The Littlest Rebel (1935) 
  • The Lone Ranger (2013) 
  • Balls of Fury (2007) 
  • The Last Samurai (2003)

A warning was also issued alongside 1980 hit Flash Gordon, with the films antagonist, Ming the Merciless, played by Max von Sydow, viewed as a classic example of ‘Yellow Peril’ xenophobia.  

The 1939 romance Gone With The Wind, set in the south during the American Civil War and Reconstruction, has been issued with a disclaimer.

This comes after comes after streaming service HBO Max removed Gone With The Wind following criticism of its ‘racist depictions’.

Some more recent movies, including The Lone Ranger, Balls of Fury, The Last Samurai and Tropic Thunder, also have warnings attached to them.

Lawrence of Arabia, Trading Places, The Jazz Singer, The Littlest Rebel and The Goonies have also been given disclaimers.

Many Twitter users have reacted in anger at Sky Cinema’s disclaimer on the 1986 film Aliens, with some feeling that the warning discredits a film with a ‘strong female lead for no reason’.

Aliens follows the story of Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, who is sent to a planet to make contact with a terraforming colony and has to fight them to survive.  

Sky say that they are reviewing a number of their titles across their platform and are adding any warnings where they think it necessary to flag issues of cultural sensitivities and attitudes which may cause offence as part of its broader commitment to tackle racial injustice. 

Twitter users have been reacting to Sky Cinema putting disclaimers on some of their titles, with one user responding 'f*** off 2020' when sharing the Aliens's disclaimer

Twitter users have been reacting to Sky Cinema putting disclaimers on some of their titles, with one user responding ‘f*** off 2020’ when sharing the Aliens’s disclaimer

A Sky spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Sky is committed to supporting anti-racism and improving diversity and inclusion both on and off screen. We constantly review all content on Sky’s owned channels and will take action where necessary including adding additional information for our customer to allow them to make an informed decision when deciding what films and TV shows to watch.’ 

It follows from a series of broadcasters warning viewers of outdated cultural references in some of its content, while some shows have been removed altogether. 

Earlier this month, Little Britain was removed from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox after receiving widespread backlash from viewers over its use of blackface characters. 

A disclaimer can be seen beside 1980 film Flash Gordon (pictured), due to 'Yellow Peril' xenophobia

A disclaimer can be seen beside 1980 film Flash Gordon (pictured), due to ‘Yellow Peril’ xenophobia 

It follows from a number of broadcasters reviewing its content, with Little Britain (pictured) removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox as a result of racism

It follows from a number of broadcasters reviewing its content, with Little Britain (pictured) removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox as a result of racism 

The streaming websites decided to remove the show created by Matt Lucas, 46, and David Walliams, 48. 

Netflix also took down the pair’s other comedy, Come Fly With Me. 

Last week, UKTV removed the ‘Don’t Mention The War’ episode of the classic 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers from its platforms because it contained racial slurs, a decision slammed by John Cleese, who played Basil Fawlty. 

The broadcaster has since reinstated the episode with a warning to viewers.

The League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh and Gone With The Wind have also been pulled. 

TV duo Ant and Dec also issued an apology this month for ‘impersonating people of colour’ on Saturday Night Takeaway.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk