In a previous article we wrote how a certain kid-size Halloween costume based on a character from the upcoming Disney animated film “Moana” has been slammed as being offensive and misappropriated for the sensibilities of Pacific Island Polynesians for the racist undertones of its sun- tanned and heavily tattooed bodysuit component.
Just so you know, TIME reports that Disney has decided to stop sales of that particular costume, styled after the male lead character of the movie, the mythical Polynesian demigod Maui who is voiced by actor and semi-retired WWE superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In addition to the “brown-face” tattooed bodysuit, the costume also had a leaf skirt and necklace of teeth. It was accused of carrying negative racist undertones.
Critics point out that traditional Pacific Island tattoos were so deeply meaningful that it’s considered taboo for a person to fake them, especially as a costume. Chelsie Haunani Fairchild, a self- described native Hawaiian of Polynesian stock, called out Disney on cultural appropriation in turning traditional designs as merchandising for children.
In a Youtube video, Fairchild called the Maui costume “disgusting” and “not okay”. She also expressed reservations for the film itself, concerned about its possible “stereotypical” depiction of Polynesian culture.
In a statement released after pulling the costume for its website and stores, Disney clarified that & "The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some."
“Moana”, which opens November, tells the story of a Polynesian princess who embarks on a sea voyage to save her people, accompanied by Maui.
Photo Credit to www.themovienetwork.com