Trigger Warning: Comcast-Owned Sky Says Aladdin 2019 ‘Has Outdated Attitudes’ that ‘May Cause Offence’

Will Smith and Nasim Pedrad in Aladdin (2019) Titles: Aladdin People: Will Smith, Nasim Pedrad © Disney Enterprises
Disney Enterprises

Comcast-owned Sky has added trigger warnings to Disney’s Aladdin — both the 1992 original and the 2019 remake — warning its “outdated attitudes” may “cause offence today”.

Sky, a British broadcaster that offers a pay-per-view film service, describes the ’90s classic first and foremost as a film which “has outdated attitudes, language and cultural depictions which may cause offence” — and only after that as a “Disney animation featuring the voice of the late Robin Williams”.

Still more remarkable, however, is the fact that the 2019 remake of the Disney staple on offer in Sky’s online store contains the same trigger warning of having “outdated” content despite being just 13 months old.

The 2019 film’s primary description boasts that it is a “Live-action re-imagining of the Disney classic about a street urchin who unleashes the power of a genie (Will Smith), sparking a magical adventure” — but further down the page potential viewers are again warned: “This film has outdated attitudes, language and cultural depictions which may cause offence today.”.

Gawain Towler, a long-time lieutenant of Nigel Farage during his leadership of both UKIP and the Brexit Party, articulated his views on the trigger warning, observing sarcastically: “Yes, that’s Aladdin, from last year with Will Smith. In those distant days supposedly the world had different attitudes.”

“It didn’t but we hadn’t realised how spineless corporations were,” he added, for the avoidance of doubt.

This is not the first time Aladdin has faced the wrath of the censors, however, with the 1992 original’s opening song ‘Arabian Nights’ having been awkwardly doctored to appease the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) previously.

Originally, the song’s opening lines were:

Oh, I come from a land
From a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam.
Where they cut off your ear
If they don’t like your face
It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.

The last three lines have been changed to the faintly nonsensical “Where it’s flat and immense / And the heat is intense / It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home”.

This proved to be a waste of effort, however, with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee insisting that the film remained problematic.

“Can an Arab-American child feel good after seeing ‘Aladdin’? The answer is no,” insisted Don Bustany, chapter president of the ADC in Los Angeles, California.

“Probably the most demeaning thing to Arabs is that all of the townspeople, the merchants and guards and soldiers are depicted as mean and cruel,” he complained.

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