Uncle Remus Brer Rabbit Sundays is getting collected edit! Jul 11, 2020 19:44:11 GMT
Post by That Duckfan on Jul 11, 2020 19:44:11 GMT
That's the issue in a nutshell. And it's difficult that have that discussion today, because it's been hyperpoliticized.
That Duckfan does a good job of presenting some of the complicated mix of issues here. (a)There are major ethical problems with people-with-power telling (and recasting, and taking credit for, and profiting from) the stories of people-with-less-power. (b)Cultural growth depends on borrowing, and borrowing/mixing elements from various groups will happen in any case, and fiction is all about the ability to imagine yourself inside someone else's story, etc. But the truth of (b) doesn't take away the true harm involved in (a), and we need to find ways to monitor the power differential and reduce the harm involved in (a) while not getting so reactive that positive cultural borrowing or fictional entry into different lives is ruled out.
I think the current means of monitoring the power differential are very flawed. I watched Hamilton recently, a musical that's often regarded as a great success on the front of (b) without (a). I artfully disagree --- I think it's real catchy, but I have some problems with the way it engages with power and historical representation. And it's not what you think it is! But I think most people who would usually take issue with that look past those issues because of Hamilton's overt liberal message.
Yes, you touched on this before with my review of Dumbo and I still don't really have an answer. I'm glad something like Disney+ exists at all, after my country got only a handful of Walt Disney Treasures releases.
That's a way to talk about ongoing cultural creation. It's a related but different question, what to do with cultural artifacts from the past which involve sketchy cultural appropriation and/or downright racist elements. I personally don't think it's any great loss if "Song of the South" is not available for people's entertainment viewing. I do wish it could be available for people who want to write/talk about cultural appropriation in USA popular culture, or about depictions of formerly enslaved persons, or about the place of the African trickster figures in North American culture, or whatever. Due to the ways we now view, store and share information, it's harder than it used to be to have movies/cartoons available for those doing scholarship or cultural commentary without having them available for entertainment. You can move a statue from a public park or governmental building to a museum where you frame it with historical context and ethical critique; it's hard to do the equivalent with a movie. Waiting to see what they do with "Gone with the Wind"!
There's also an issue with fandom culture, particularly with Disney, where the line between fan and researcher gets very blurry. You have Official Clubs like D23 and the Disney Movie Club, where you have to be American in order to even apply. Disney has been keen to monetize access to its vault for as long as I can remember. I just want to leaf through concept art, dangit!
(And as I alluded to in another thread, if I find the time a few years down the line, I'd love to compile a list of scholarship on Disney.)