Disney’s ‘Moana’ Costume Proves Controversial, Creates Twitter Debate
Disney released a costume for its new animated character Moana that has led to backlash on Twitter.
Disney’s ‘Moana’ Costume
Moana, which will be opening in theaters later this year, is set in the Pacific Islands. It tells the story of a teenager named Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) who meets the demigod Maui (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), who helps her become a wayfinder, guiding her through a slew of ocean obstacles and monsters along the way.
Disney advertised the costume thusly: “Your little one will set off on adventures in this Maui Costume featuring the demigod’s signature tattoos, rope necklace and island-style skirt. Plus, padded arms and legs for mighty stature!”
Since becoming aware of the Maui Moana costume, some have taken to Twitter to take issue with the costume’s brown skin and tribal tattoos, believing that Disney is guilty of offensive cultural appropriation. On Twitter, those who are offended have been alerting Disney to the costume’s arguably problematic aspects.
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Dear #Disney , our brown skin is not a costume. Get outta here with that crap. Sincerely, a furious brown skinned Pacific Islander. #Moana
— taleifiji (@TaleiFiji) September 19, 2016
I wanted Moana to be real. I wanted to feel relevant in the eyes of the general public, but no. I’m only a costume to them, and that’s sad
— hapa hoe™ (@finalgirljessie) September 19, 2016
As a Poly I support our folk involved in #MOANA. But this? NO.Our Brown Skin/Ink’s NOT a costume. @DisneyMoana pic.twitter.com/X0pacppAqV
— TheBlackSheep.com (@LivinOffTheGrid) September 18, 2016
Others have taken to Twitter to reassure Disney that not all Pacific Islanders find the costume offensive.
@Disney, As a Pacific Islander, I’m not offended by the #Moana #Maui costume at all. I appreciate other people appreciating my culture.
— Konami Ai (@Konami_Ai) September 20, 2016
Disney costume is representing a character, not a culture. It’s an animated movie, people, not a documentary. #moana #iamhawaiian #imua
— Napuapepper (@napuapepper) September 19, 2016
As of yet, Johnson, who is of Polynesian descent, has not commented on the Moana costume controversy.
Moana will hit U.S. theaters Nov. 23, 2016.
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