Disney Removes Beloved Character From Meet & Greet

May 14, 2024

In recent developments at Disney World, Tinker Bell, the cherished fairy character from the 1953 classic “Peter Pan,” has been notably absent from the lineup of characters available for meet-and-greets at the park. Previously, Tinker Bell was a familiar sight at Disney World’s Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom, where she delighted fans with her magical presence. However, following the park’s reopening post-Covid, Tinker Bell did not return to her usual spot, and her signage was subsequently removed. Visitors to the park will now see banners promoting a meet-and-greet with “Master Magician Mickey Mouse,” with no mention of Tinker Bell, except during the Festival of Fantasy Parade and her appearance in the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show.

Part of the reason for Tinker Bell’s absence may be part of a larger initiative by Disney to address and potentially correct how certain characters are portrayed, particularly those that might be viewed as problematic. Disney’s Stories Matter team, established to review and update the portrayal of people and cultures in Disney’s products, flagged Tinker Bell as a character of concern ahead of the Disney+ launch in 2019. According to reports by The New York Times in 2022, the team raised issues regarding Tinker Bell’s depiction as being overly “body conscious” and “jealous of Peter Pan’s attention.”

So, according to Disney, this is “problematic.”

But this is fine…

Disney’s Stories Matter initiative aims to update or advise on portrayals that could perpetuate negative stereotypes or outdated cultural views. This initiative extends beyond the screens to include Disney’s various products, books, music, and experiences, with the goal of better reflecting the diversity of stories and cultures in our world. This ongoing project seeks not only to add advisories to certain depictions but also to reimagine them entirely in some cases.

 

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