'The Muppet Show' is given content warning on Disney+ over 'negative depictions of cultures'

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Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2 min read
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Sänger JOHNNY CASH and Miss Piggy in 'The Muppets Show' (1984) / Überschrift: JOHNNY CASH. (Photo by kpa/United Archives via Getty Images)
Sänger JOHNNY CASH and Miss Piggy in 'The Muppets Show' (1984) / Überschrift: JOHNNY CASH. (Photo by kpa/United Archives via Getty Images)

The original Muppet Show series has been given a content warning on streaming platform Disney+ over 'negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures'.

The disclaimer has been added to 18 episodes of the series, which originally aired between 1976 and 1981.

Episodes which are guest hosted by the likes of Steve Martin, Peter Sellers, Cleo Laine, Spike Milligan, Kenny Rogers, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Debbie Harry and Marty Feldman are among those now featuring warnings.

Johnny Cash's episode, from 1980, the country legend is seen singing in front of a confederate flag, while Peter Sellers is dressed as a gypsy, performing the song A Gyspy's Violin.

Read more: The 20 best movies coming to Disney+

In another fronted by Spike Milligan, the Goon Show comedian appears dressed in an offensive caricature outfit of a Chinese person, with false pronounced teeth, during a performance of It's A Small World.

The Muppet Show, Fernsehserie, USA/Großbritannien 1976 - 1981, Comedyshow mit Puppen und Gaststar Spike Milligan
The Muppet Show, Fernsehserie, USA/Großbritannien 1976 - 1981, Comedyshow mit Puppen und Gaststar Spike Milligan

The warning informs viewers that 'these stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together'.

A statement on Disney's website reads: “As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures.

“Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all. We also want to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re committed to giving voice to their stories as well.”

A number of other classic Disney movies feature the warning – including the likes of The Aristocats, Dumbo and The Jungle Book.

Watch: Alice Cooper on appearing in The Muppets