People Say This Disney Costume Is Cultural Appropriation

1. People are accusing Disney of cultural appropriation for selling a brown-skin tattoo costume of Maui, a Polynesian demigod who is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the upcoming film Moana.

2. The “authentic” costume is described on the Walt Disney Store’s website as including an “allover Maui body tattoo screen art,” an “island-style skirt,” “photorealistic teeth art appliqués,” and “padded arms and legs for mighty stature.”

3. The zip-up costume, which costs nearly $50 and the matching wig is another $15, has left many people wondering if it could be considered a celebration of culture or is just a very offensive example of cultural appropriation.

4. People took to social media to express how upset they were with the costume, saying “cultures are not costumes.”

5. People also expressed mixed feelings, wanting to support Polynesians who are working on the movie while still feeling the costume was not acceptable.

6. Other people were also excited about the character of Maui, who in Hawaiian mythology famously fished all the islands out of the sea, but felt the costume was still not OK.

As excited as I am for #Moana, and as cool as Maui will be, other people’s skins are not costumes. @DisneyAnimation

— jess banks (@ProfBanks)

7. People said Disney should be ashamed.

Um… yea NO! I did read somewhere today

“Make Hallowe’en great…
… Don’t #Appropriate!”

For SHAME @Disney

— CLPOTTS (@carleekat)

8. “My culture is not a costume,” one person tweeted. Dear @Disney this is cultural appropriation. & my culture is not a costume.

— Keakeake (@8keakeake)

9. People called it creepy to “Wear another culture’s skin!”

Maui Costume for Kids This might be the creepiest thing Disney has ever done. “Wear another culture’s skin!”

— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia)

10. Many people were wondering in particular if Johnson, who is of Samoan ancestry and went to high school in Hawaii, was upset about the costume. BuzzFeed News reached out to representatives for Disney and the Rock for a response.

So I wonder if the rock is going to be as upset as the rest of us normal people about Disney selling this Moana costume 🤔

— Kristi Trapaguchi (@jessyjams)

11. However some people were not offended by the costume, and instead said it was not a big deal.

This Moana costume thing. Calm down, Internet.

— Dadbod Billionaire (@DreamHostBrett)

12. “It’s an animated movie, people, not a documentary,” one person said on Twitter.

Disney costume is representing a character, not a culture. It’s an animated movie, people, not a documentary. #moana #iamhawaiian #imua

— Napuapepper (@napuapepper)

13. The movie has already come under fire as some people have accused Disney of fat-shaming Polynesians by making Maui look overweight. Others praised the portrayal of Moana, Disney’s first Polynesian princess, for having a realistic figure.

Moana is set to be released on Nov. 23.

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