I’m going to admit something. I was super naive when I started reading about how some people thought that Maui’s costume, a padded brown-fabric, tatooed body suit type of outfit, was insensitive to the culture in which that character represents. I say that because I guess I see a lot of people do different sorts of cosplay (for lack of a better term) and many make it a point to accurately represent those in which they are portraying. I was generalizing a bit in my thinking, so it seems. Then again, I will admit even more so that I am not a cosplayer… just an admirer of those that take pride in that form of art. (Again, lack of a better term?)
I even brought this up during a recent episode of the Behind The Ears Podcast. Danny and I talked about it a bit and I think we really wanted to know more as to where the issue was. We just didn’t know. Honestly.
So, as with anyone who doesn’t understand something, I started looking around and tried to find out more about the significance of the issue at hand. I mean, if I am asking myself why – I should seek out the reasons, right? Without going into a lot of detail, I am starting to see both sides to this story.
It is now my understanding that there are some very real and significant cultural significance’s being represented in the costume, and there are those a part of that culture that find the overall costume design offensive. I think that in of itself is noteworthy. I mean… I am not sure that people understand why, which is also fueling the numerous Facebook discussions going on about it as well. This could be a good chance to educate people on different cultures.
At the same time, I don’t really think Disney did this on purpose. As a guess… I’m somewhat thinking that they were responding to the multitude of requests for costumes for boys, outside of being some sort of pirate, Jedi, Stormtrooper, or Marvel character. It’s not an excuse, but I’m trying to think logically here for a moment. Disney is a company that has a high level of respect for different cultures, and I think it is easy to speculate that is especially the case for the cultures they portray in their movies.
Disney got feedback and they responded quickly. They apologized as well. They pulled not only the costume, but other similar clothing items such as a t-shirt that I once saw on their site, too.
With this said, I will say that I still look forward to seeing Moana this November. It looks like Disney can continue their string of awesome animation following greats such as Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Frozen, and Wreck It Ralph. (All some of my favorite movies!)