On Feb. 19, 2021, Disney+ streaming service added 118 episodes of the basic kids’s program “The Muppet Show,” which ran from 1976 to 1981, to its library of content material. As a number of media shops later reported, viewers binging the present discovered that a number of the episodes had been preceded by a disclaimer.
The disclaimers come as a part of Disney’s “Stories Matter” initiative:
As a part of our ongoing dedication to variety and inclusion, we’re within the strategy of reviewing our library and including advisories to content material that features damaging depictions or mistreatment of individuals or cultures. Rather than eradicating this content material, we see a possibility to spark dialog and open dialogue on historical past that impacts us all. We additionally need to acknowledge that some communities have been erased or forgotten altogether, and we’re dedicated to giving voice to their tales as nicely.
On 18 “Muppet Show” episodes, The Los Angeles Times reported that every “bears the 12-second disclaimer for a different reason, from [Johnny] Cash’s appearance singing in front of a Confederate flag to negative depictions of Native Americans, Middle Easterners and people from other cultures.” Other episodes with a disclaimer embrace these hosted by Steve Martin, Peter Sellers, Kenny Rogers, Debbie Harry, and Marty Feldman, in accordance to the Times.
The disclaimers are a part of a number of tweaks made to “The Muppet Show” catalog earlier than it went dwell. As devoted Redditors cataloged, some smaller segments inside a number of the episodes, largely musical, had been eliminated. According to Entertainment Weekly, this was primarily due to Disney missing the rights to the musical content material. An total episode hosted by Brooke Shields was eliminated because of this as nicely. Another episode, hosted by Chris Langham, an actor who would later spend “10 months in prison … for downloading indecent videos of children from the internet,” was additionally eliminated solely.
Because offensive-content disclaimers seem earlier than some, however not all, episodes of “The Muppet Show,” we fee this declare as “Mostly True.”