Toy Story 4 Labeled ‘Racist’, ‘Disablist,’ and ‘Misogynist’

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Over the weekend, we delved back into our favorite toy box and saw Woody and the gang return to screens for another long-awaited installment of the popular Toy Story franchise. Understandably, people were apprehensive as it’s no secret that movies can be overdone and lose their spark when sequels are continuously hammered out. But, contrary to expectations, the latest venture has been enjoying a more than successful opening weekend at the box office (the movie smashed the global box office record), as well as receiving rave reviews from both viewers and critics.

The last thing that would spring to mind would be that, especially in 2019, the animated family adventure would be problematic. After all, they’re just toys and it’s a kids film, right?

Well, it seems like not everyone has been enjoying Toy Story 4. In fact, the movie has caused outrage, being branded “racist,” “disablist,” and “misogynist.”

So, what did Disney and Pixar get so catastrophically wrong?

 

Toy Story 4 hit screens on June 21.

Nine long years after the release of Toy Story 3, and over two decades since the original, we finally got to see Woody and the toy box clan again.

We were first introduced to the gang in 1995, when the original Disney and Pixar production, Toy Story, graced screens. The film was a big hit and therefore, bagged itself 3 more movies in years since.  

We all may have grown to love the toy clan, but behind them are a whole host of star-studded celebs voicing our favorite characters, including  Tom Hanks, who voices cowboy doll, Woody; Tim Allen, who voices Buzz Lightyear; and, of course, the proud owner of the unconventional toybox, Andy, is voiced by John Morris.

Though we’re very familiar with most of the toys, we were introduced to some new characters in Toy Story 4.

The new film follows the gang as they embark on a road trip after a new toy called “Forky,” who, you guessed it, is literally a fork, joins the group. Seems pretty unproblematic so far, right?  

It’s raked in an impressive $238m since opening worldwide during the weekend, performing particularly well in Latin America and Europe.

Safe to say, viewers have been loving Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the gang’s latest adventure.

Fans flooded to theaters over the weekend.

“I’m trash” appeared to be the trademark line from the toy.

The film even received praise from critics.

The movie not only triumphed in theaters, but it also rose to the top of the ranks in the eyes of the critics, too, receiving a lengthy catalog of 4 and 5 star reviews since its release. Film critic, Mark Kermode, described the latest Pixar and Disney venture as “a franchise still very much alive,” while another dubbed it as “a project that comes straight from the heart.”


So with the critics and viewers agreeing, what could the film have possibly done wrong?

Despite receiving rave reviews, not everyone was so pleased…

While appearing on the UK’s BBC Radio 4’s “Saturday Review” show, writer and theatre-maker, Stella Duffy,  slammed the Pixar animation for its lack of representation.

Duffy criticized Disney and Pixar for its lack of black representation. “Seriously, it’s 2019! What on Earth are Disney doing having a film that has no leads that are black characters? “Yes, there are black actors, but they are yellow and they are green and they are plush! How can they possibly think that it’s alright now?”

According to Duffy, Bo-Peep is not a feminist, despite what everyone thinks… “Okay, let’s talk about the white feminism on display here. Oh look! Bo-Peep’s a feminist. No she’s not! She’s still going to fall in love, she’s still going to have the happily ever after, that’s not feminism,” she told show’s host, Ayesha Hazarika.

Duffy was highly critical of the porcelain-figure based on the popular children’s rhyme. “It’s a woman who kicks off her skirt to reveal bloomers. Had a couple of thoughts… and does some high wire acts. And it’s disablist! It covers ALL bases!” She continued: “It looks good – but Disney is supposed to LOOK good. There has to be content to the story too!”

Safe to say, many people didn’t agree with her.

She received hate mail as a result of her appearance on the radio show.

Ironically, Duffy landed herself in the firing line again after her tweet…

People were not happy with her comments, especially those surrounding feminism.

One user told her to “get over herself.”  

But, did Duffy actually, well, have a point?

Duffy may have been on to something after all. Whether you agree or not, the stats do reveal that Hollywood still has a massive representation problem. While huge strides have been made to increase diversity in the entertainment industry, just two out of ten of leading film characters are people of color, while women make up just 32.2% of film leads.

When it comes to disabled representation, the figures are even worse.

A 2016 study from the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, revealed that, out of the 800 most popular movies from 2007 to 2015, just fourteen included a main character with a disability.

But, it seems like Duffy may be on her own when it comes to Toy Story.

It’s not looking like people are going to agree any time soon.  

And it seems like Toy Story is far from the only film to be criticized for being offensive.

The Jim Carey comedy, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, is another film that has ended up in the firing line recently. Podcaster and radio host, Joe Rogan, spoke out about the classic 1994 comedy and there’s one scene, in particular, that Rogan drew attention to. It turns out that he’s not the only one who’s noticed…