Disney will no longer play the song “Zippity-Doo-Dah,” at its Disneyland and Disney World parks due to its racist undertones and connection to the Antebellum South.
“Zippity-Doo-Dah,” will no longer be played at Disneyland. It’s not about a beautiful day. Or about Mr. Bluebird. It attempts to portray enslaved Black Americans as happy to do whatever they are asked.
And Disneyland recognizes this. If you look at the song itself, it doesn’t seem offensive, but you have to understand the context. The Antebellum South was a torturous time and place for black people. They were forced into slavery, had no rights, and were treated as property.
This is after they were forcibly kidnapped from their homeland and forced to travel across the ocean at the bottom of a ship in chains. And the trip was months long. So, it certainly wasn’t a zippity-doo-dah day.
According to CNN, Disneyland is removing the song “Zippity-Doo-Dah,” from its beloved parades. This comes on the heels of Disney announcing that it is shutting down Splash Mountain and resetting the context and story into “The Princess Frog.” So, no more “Zippity Do Dah.” In short, the song is being removed because the ride that is based on a racist story is being removed. This is occurring at both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida.
That aside, you can look at what has changed in America over the past 20 years. It is a far cry from the Antebellum South. The country has made huge strides toward equality for African Americans, although we still have a long way to go. We’ve seen affirmative action and its successes, as well as the continuing struggle to get to where we should be as a country and as a people. Disneyland is keeping up.
Yes, the song and story, even if they are part of your childhood, are remnants of a time when people of color were abused, tortured, and treated as property. This time has left a lasting impression on the tortured people and the country. Legacy racism continues to perpetuate in everyday life and systems.
When Disney and Disneyland announced that the beloved log flume ride of Splash Mountain would be changed into a modern theme, many Disney fans were offended–offended because their childhood memories were being changed. They didn’t consider how offensive and just wrong “Song of the South” was.
Disney headquarters itself is going through changes of its own. Disney had fired its old CEO, Bob Iger, and brought in Bob Chapek. In a turn of events this year, Bob Iger was brought back as Disney shareholders were not fans of some of Chapek’s changes. In the meantime, Iger had retired but agreed to come back for a period of time until the company found another CEO.
Disney has become a massive entertainment giant with acquisitions like ESPN, Marvel, Pixar, and Hulu; at one time, Disney was thinking about purchasing Twitter, but then pulled out of the deal. It was assumed that Disney had some inside info about the actual amount of everyday Twitter users vs. bots.
So, with “Song of the South” removed and “Zippity Do Dah” eradicated, that doesn’t mean we can forget the deep pains people have suffered in this country. We can only continue celebrating new stories like “The Princess Frog” and putting lovely Tiana at the forefront of the princess squad.