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Disney accused of 'brownface' over Moana costume

image copyrightdisney

Disney is being accused of racism after revealing its new Moana fancy dress costume for children.

The full-body suit is designed to look like Maui, the Polynesian demigod, voiced by Dwayne Johnson in the film.

It features traditional Polynesian tattoos, a grass skirt, a bone necklace and brown skin.

It has provoked criticism from people claiming that Disney is appropriating Polynesian culture and promoting "full-body brownface".

Kelly Davis Naea said: The pe`a is a sacred tattoo and selling a costume of it is offensive to Samoan and other PI cultures. NOT OK

The costume doesn't appear to be on sale at Disney's UK online store but shoppers in the US can buy the "authentic Disney costume" which is described as a zip-up suit complete with "all over Maui body tattoo screen art".

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has issued a statement calling on the company to "listen to the views of the communities and people whose cultures their movie is based upon."

Disney is yet to comment but others have come to their defence saying it represents "a character, not a culture".

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Related Topics

  • Disney
  • Racism
  • Film
  • New Zealand