Values Exchange


3 Mar 2015 81 Respondents
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Amanda Lees
AUT Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
Mega Mind (40519 XP)
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POLL of the DAY (63): DISNEY

'Disney is branching out with its princesses. Frozen and Brave saw its strongest, independent female princesses, and the box office figures proved just how much the viewers loved them.

But the company is yet to feature a princess who has a learning disability.

It’s why parents are now petitioning for the company to create a Disney princess with Down’s syndrome.

So far, the petition – which calls for Disney to represent children with Down’s syndrome - has almost 55,000 signatures.

It was started by California mum Keston Ott-Dahl whose 15-month-old daughter Delaney Syke has Down’s syndrome.

Her petition reads: “Disney does a great job of depicting right from wrong. It has long providing wonderful moral lessons that teach our children to be good people - but sadly, the company comes up short in one critical area.

“Its movies have almost no representation of disabled people, those often bullied and looked down upon by their fellow children.

“What wonderful lessons of diversity, compassion, and acceptance Disney could teach our kids if they promoted disabled characters as heroes and heroines in their beloved movies!”

In an interview with the Orlando SentinelOtt-Dahl explained that her daughter loves movies such as Frozen, but cannot really relate to any of the role models.

“As Disney portrays people [with Down's syndrome], they can teach future generations to be more compassionate and more accepting and unjudgmental of kids who are not like them,” she said.

Her petition has attracted support from across the world, with people writing comments such as: “Reading your story made me just tear up!

“I hope you get somewhere even if it is just a short film for your little princesses!” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11195710/Disney-needs-to-create-a-princess-with-Downs-syndrome.html 

Would a Down's Syndrome Disney character raise the profile of people with Down's Syndrome, teaching children to be open to diversity or, in a world where lables can inadvertantly be quite harmful, is creating a 'Down's' princess reemphasising the distinction between disabled and 'the rest of us'.  Is this a distinction that children may not have noticed before? 

What do you think?

image source 

It is proposed that for their next movie, Disney should create a princess with Down's syndrome