118 episodes of Jim Henson’s classic TV series The Muppet Show are now streaming on Disney+, writes the AV Club — but 18 episodes now begin with a content disclaimer…
The text of the disclaimers, which cannot be skipped past and include little 12-second timers so you know that you have to sit through them, explain that the episodes feature “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” and while “these stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” Disney has decided to leave them in order to “acknowledge the [content’s] harmful impact, learn from it, and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together…”
The disclaimer-worthy stuff includes Johnny Cash performing in front of a confederate flag in his episode and the brief appearance of a puppet dressed as a stereotypical Native American (referred to as an “Indian”) in the Jim Nabors episode.
Putting a disclaimer on the show is not a new practice at Disney+. The streamer had previously put disclaimers at the start of several classic animated movies, warning viewers about “outdated cultural depictions.” Last month, Disney+ took it a step further by pulling many of these movies from kids’ profiles, such as Dumbo, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and The Jungle Book. The titles are still available to watch on adult profiles with a disclaimer.
To celebrate their arrival on Disney+ the Muppets spliced themselves into posters parodying other TV shows, including The Mandalorian.
But MovieWeb also notes reports that two Muppet Show episodes from season 5 also had to be removed — and another episode heavily edited — due to trouble securing the music rights, “something that also prevented most of the series from getting released on home video for years.”
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