The Instigator
Mockery
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Beginner
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Disney Needs More POC in Ther Movies

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Beginner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,259 times Debate No: 43260
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Mockery

Pro

I will be arguing that more POC (people of color) need to be in Disney films, animated or not.

For the first round, just post your view on said subject. The second round will be the start of the actual debate.
Beginner

Con

I will be arguing the CON side of this resolution. Disney does not need to cast more people of color into their movies. It is not needed for society, and, assuming my opponent's objective for this topic is ultimately social equality as pertaining to race, is unnecessary (perhaps even counterproductive). I will divulge further into my opinions in the proceeding rounds, but the clause written above is pretty much where I will be arguing from.

Don't troll me! Thanks~
Debate Round No. 1
Mockery

Pro

Okay, lets get started.

Disney needs more POC because honestly, it's sad. It's sad that a company that creates such great movies only wants to focus on white people. The world is filled with loads of different people with different cultures and skin colors. Not only that but there are so many stories that they could use that focus on POC. Also, just because many fairly tales originated in Europe doesn't mean that you can't take tweak them and change the characters. I was hoping to see more movies in the line of Princess and the Frog, taking a original fairy tale and giving it a twist.

Also, within the Disney princess line, there are only four women of color. What message are we sending to little girls? That only white women can be royalty or that only white women find true love? People may think these things won't influence children but they will and those ideas they form will stick with them. It's time Disney starts to add more color to their line up.
Beginner

Con

Hello, hello and hello!

Contention 1 - Disney is culturally aware

When I think Disney, I think Aladdin, Mulan, Hercules, the Lion King Beauty and the Beast, the Jungle Book, Tarzan, etc. These are what I've grown up with. Now when I first saw this resolution I thought: "Basically, this person is saying that Disney doesn't employ POC in its movies at all." And I think to the Disney movies of my childhood and I knew this wasn't right. Aladdin, for example, isn't just a movie filled with brown-skinned, Middle-Eastern people. Quite contrary, Aladdin is a beautiful display of the workings of the pre-colonial Arab world.

Think about it. Do you think Disney should have more POC in movies in which having such characters (i.e. placing Africans into a movie set in ancient China) would be a blatant historical error?
When I see a film about people in ancient China, I expect to see the characters of Chinese culture live Chinese culture. Is it unfair for me to not want to see, say, Caucasians in a movie such as Mulan?
Consider this distinction.

Now, if there is a film about medieval Europeans in a traditional Western setting, would it be unfair of me to expect to see cultural/historical correctness? Is it wrong that a movie such as Beauty and the Beast, an adaptation of a western European story, does not contain Africans, Persians, Indians, Chinese, etc.? Is it unfair that a Disney movie such as Tangled, a story written and set in somewhere in the medieval Western world, does not have POC in it?

I agree that in a more diverisifed setting such as the modern multi-cultural world., in order to maintain elements of indiscriminating equality, should include these 'POC'. Each setting has its own set of people. However, Disney does not cast its movies in the modern world. Movies such as Hercules, is cast specifically in their own allotted times. Do you blame Disney for not having more POC in their movies?


My contention 2 deals with the discrimination I find is inherent in my opponent's side resolution depending on her response to the following question:
What is the purpose of your side of this contention? Cultural awareness? Cultural equality? A notion against discrimination? All of the above?
I won't be presumptuous and intend for PRO to answer this question herself.
On to PRO!
Debate Round No. 2
Mockery

Pro

Yes, I do blame Disney for not having POC in their movies.

I understand where you are coming when you talk about Mulan. However, Beauty and the Beast has been around for an extremely long time. The story has gone through changes and people have added to it. Not only that but there have many children books that have taken famous fairy tales characters and changed their skin colors. Just because a story comes from Europe doesn't mean it HAS to remain white. Again, look at Princess and the Frog.

You also mention Aladdin. Out of about fifty animated movies (including Pixar) Disney has only four movies that have a main character that are POC. That is less than one percent. Yes Aladdin was a good movie but it took us at five years to have another animated movie with a POC (Mulan) that was actually good, despite it not properly portraying Chinese culture. Then after that, we had to wait until 2009 for the first African American princess. You have to admit that there is a problem here.

The reason I'm debating this is a few reason. Yes, I want Cultural awareness and equality along with notion against discrimination. But there is also one huge thing: it's getting boring.

People may say, "Oh you're being silly." but I do have friends who agree with me. Disney has NINE white princesses. That is 9 out 13. Now I do not hate those princesses, I love them and their movies (save for Sleeping Beauty but that's another discussion for another time) but you look at that and you don't really see an accurate portrayal of people. Not only that but you can only do the same thing so many times that you get bored. A lot of my artists friends were so disappointed to see that Elsa and Anna from Frozen were white. They were hoping for something different. In fact, a lot of people were. It's just disappointing. It's also like Disney is being lazy.

Honestly, I don't mean to sound like I'm hating Disney. I love Disney! I just want them to do better you know?
Beginner

Con

How can you blame Disney for not having more 'POC' when Disney already provides ample quantities of multi-cultural content? How much is enough?

What does it mean to be culturally aware/indiscriminate? Let us look at the way my opponent implicitly defines this in terms of racial appearances. My opponent basically argues that, by having a greater majority of its work be centered around people who aren't diverse in appearance only, Disney is innately discriminatory. That is simply ridiculous. Let us take my opponent's example and use Beauty and the Beast for a reference. I am aware that many cultures across the world each tell their own unique adaptation of the story. However, Disney chose to use the 18th century fairy tale written by French author, Jeanne-Marie. I argue, is that really discrimination? If Disney chose, say, the Japanese variant, wouldn't that also be discrimination in that other cultures are still being excluded?
Second, let us examine the core of my opponent's resolution. My opponent argues that Disney needs more POC for Disney to get better. This statement is pretty vague. Let me ask my opponent, does Disney really need to get better? My opponent says: Disney needs more POC because, in her personal opinion, Disney is getting boring. I'm failing to register any degree of relevancy. Consider this. As of right now, Disney is making more money than it has ever made before. Disney's stock and market cap have been peaking year after year. PRO has not proven why her side of the resolution is an imperative.
Third, consider Disney's audience. My opponent says that 9 of 13 Disney princesses are white (let's not center on the fact that my opponent has completely ignored the princesses' different nationalities and ethnicities just yet). Again, how much is enough? Disney is an American company, started by an American man in a country whose populace consists of a caucasian majority. Is it unfair, then, that the majority of Disney cast is caucasian? What about the 4 of this very 13 who are POC? Are they insufficient in spreading the message of cultural awareness; the message that people of different cultures are as human as those of our own?

I think Disney should be applauded for its ability to distinguish between ethnicity and skin color. Ethnicity envelopes much more than just a person's appearance. It covers a people's culture and background. The resolution, which refers only and specifically to a person's skin color, ignoring the person's true ethnic identity, implicitly lumps people of different skin colors into one group; an unfair arrangement. It's like calling all Latino Americans "Spanish" or "Mexican". This is simply and disgustingly ignorant. The Cubans would disagree, the Portuguese would balk in the face of such a complete denial of their nationality. Brazilians, Bolivians, etc. fill up entire niches of culture on their own. Each culture deserves to be recognized
In fact, this is one key issue modern social media has yet to overcome. I used to watch several American TV series, and in these American TV series, I seem to always come across those few obligatory POC-main characters. I don't however, see people of culture. I don't see an African man, or a Chinese woman. I see Western people with Westernized ideals. Almost every single one of these POC I've come across in these TV series completely lose their identities to become the cultural setting in which they are cast.

Points of contention:
-My opponent tells us that Disney needs more POC to be 'better'. My opponent fails to define what this means. Better in what area? Better for what purpose?
-My opponent argues that Disney is getting boring. Is this true? Is there a trend of Disney failing to live up to its ability to entertain and entertain well? Judging by Disney's unwavering growth and success, I can assuredly say: NO.
-How much is enough? Are the POC that are currently there not enough? Prove it.
-with fire-breathing dragons, talking animals, meddling spirits, magical beings etc. I think it's pretty fair to expect the people within are not really accurate depictions 'people' per say.
-Does having characters be white really spoil a film and make it 'boring'? Would having POC make it unboring? If skin color shouldn't define a thing's worth, wouldn't this anti-white criticism be discrimination on your part?


Debate Round No. 3
Mockery

Pro

'How can you blame Disney for not having more 'POC' when Disney already provides ample quantities of multi-cultural content? '

Examples? You say this but you don't give a single example.

I say Disney is getting boring because it fails to do anything new with it's fairy tales. Yes, it takes them and makes them kid friendly. They also change how the story may end and the villain. But it is usually the same, taking place in olden times. That is what Princess and the Frog was such a breathe of fresh air. It took an old concept and made it more modern. It was still a great Disney movie despite the setting being 1920's New Orleans.

As for your example with Beauty and the Beast, I really don't think you're getting it. Do you honestly think someone would complain about taking a story that took place in France and setting in Japan? May cultures have the same story tales, just told slightly different. A popular example would be the Chinese Cinderella.

I'm not saying Disney movies are crap. What I'm saying is that they need to try and expand their horizons. I love the Disney princes movies but almost everyone is based on a European tale. There are so many stories out there from Japan, China, Mexico, Africa and more! Why should they just limit themselves to the world of Europe? You can only do the same thing so many times that people get kinda bored. I just think they need to experiment a bit more and try to adapt other stories beside the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christen Anderson.

You are right. Disney is an AMERICAN company and America happens to be a melting pot filled with different people. Therefore, it's somewhat unfair that only 4 of the 13 Disney princesses are POC. And I didn't mention their nationalities because within the movies does it rarely come into play. The only time it does come into play is for Mulan and Pocahontas. Not only that but Pocahontas' movie did not do her justice. In the movie, they portray her as a racial stereotype. She was an extremely smart woman who later got to travel to the 'new world' and she also was a devoted Christian. In her movie, she played as a racial stereotype. How can we be okay with only 4 POC in Disney movies when one of them isn't even accurate?

The POC that we have is not enough. Heck, even characters that are suppose to be of color are sometimes white washed (http://www.complex.com...) and it's so rare to see a movie with a character who is POC. Try to name five in the past year. And when I say that, I mean movies that are targeted to everyone, not movies that were created solely to try and bring black people to theaters. Having a white character does not spoil a film but it gets a bit frustrating to see a sea of white people in starring roles. Again, not to say that I hate white people but I feel there is no balance. It seems like a good %80 of movies have a white person as the lead. Why can't we have it equal? I feel like I'm not asking for too much.

You applaud Disney but you seem to forget that in the past they were also creators of some racist material. Granted, they have come a long way but I still think they have more work too do. The world is filled with so many cultures and stories that they could use. I feel like they need to focus on those stories instead and give Europe a break. It would just be nice to see them try at least.
Beginner

Con

Me: 'How can you blame Disney for not having more 'POC' when Disney already provides ample quantities of multi-cultural content? '
My opponent: Examples? You say this but you don't give a single example.
Response: Check my round 2. I've listed numerous Disney productions, such as the Lion King, Hercules, Mulan, the Jungle Book, Tarzan, etc. Each of them focuses on characters of different nationalities. Perhaps you missed them?

My opponent: I say Disney is getting boring because it fails to do anything new with it's fairy tales. Yes, it takes them and makes them kid friendly. They also change how the story may end and the villain. But it is usually the same, taking place in olden times. That is what Princess and the Frog was such a breathe of fresh air. It took an old concept and made it more modern. It was still a great Disney movie despite the setting being 1920's New Orleans.
Response: What does this have to do with having more POC as you originally posited? This position is irrelevant to the resolution and will be considered a concession. 5 points for Slytherin!!!!

My opponent: As for your example with Beauty and the Beast, I really don't think you're getting it. Do you honestly think someone would complain about taking a story that took place in France and setting in Japan? May cultures have the same story tales, just told slightly different. A popular example would be the Chinese Cinderella.
Response: Correct, I'm not getting what your trying to say. Relate it back to the resolution and maybe help me out a little (I mean, story taking place in France set in Japan? That's like saying people currently in Paris are walking around Japan, that's logically impossible.) What about Chinese Cinderella? I've admitted to the existence of the numerous adaptations of fairy tales via Beauty and the Beast as an example, and my argument was based on this particular example. On the other hand, how is this significant in terms of Disney needing to cast more POC? I suggest you respond to my point about the inherent discrimination of intentionally evicting content non POC culture in favor of those with POC.

My opponent: You are right. Disney is an AMERICAN company and America happens to be a melting pot filled with different people. Therefore, it's somewhat unfair that only 4 of the 13 Disney princesses are POC.
Response: I'm glad you've conceded my point, but am sad that you ignored some of my content such as my reference to Disney's not needing the good you're claiming Disney will get from casting more works with POC than it currently has. You told us in round 3 that the purpose of this resolution, the reason Disney needs to cast more POC, in other words, is to 'make Disney better'. This would mean Disney doesn't need to change anything. It is fine the way it is as per my second point in round 3. Do you deny what you've explicitly declared to be the contending point of this resolution?
Another point I'd like to bring up refers to the number you are throwing around carelessly, these 9 of 13 white princesses or, in other words, the 4 of 13 Princesses of Color. What adverse effects is Disney (or even society as a whole) facing by not having those one or two extra princesses? Before you contend further, it is absolutely imperative you establish that Disney needs to cast more POC. It is a very important facet for your side of this resolution, and is something you have yet to do.

My opponent: You applaud Disney but you seem to forget that in the past they were also creators of some racist material. Granted, they have come a long way but I still think they have more work too do. The world is filled with so many cultures and stories that they could use. I feel like they need to focus on those stories instead and give Europe a break. It would just be nice to see them try at least.
Response: What I am getting from this is that past-Disney needs to cast more POC. Since when were we talking about past-Disney? By 'more work to do' I assume you mean 'cast more POC'? But you've yet to prove why casting more POC is a necessity for Disney. As I've already established, Disney is peaking year after year after year. Sure, the world is filled with many cultures, hundreds even. Does it mean Disney's job is to cast these cultures into the cinema? Again, let's revisit the fact that you are supporting your side of the resolution for the Disney's sake, does Disney really need more POC? It's doing absolutely fantastic the way it currently is. It's earning hundreds of billions and is appealing to worldwide audiences. (and to your little nitpicky point about U.S. being diverse, here's my nitpicky point - 78% of the U.S. is white[1], ignore that if you'd like, you've already ignored most of my arguments anyway).

What I'm saying is this: Disney has enough POC to fulfill it's quota of spreading the multi-cultural message. It has enough POC to attract audiences and patrons from all over the world. It has enough POC such that calling it racist or discriminatory would be nothing more than a false accusation. It has enough POC such that it doesn't need more POC.

So back to the central question: why is it that Disney needs more POC?

[1]http://www.census.gov...
Debate Round No. 4
Mockery

Pro

You are so blind and you really are not listening at all.

Okay, this is the last round.

Disney needs more POC because there is way too much white. It's sad but true. Only 4 princess are of color. What sort of message are they sending to little girls? Kids are much smarter than we think they are. These things can influence kids, making them think that they aren't important enough because they aren't white. You are making it sound like it 's okay to exclude POC which it isn't. It's not fair to the people who are POC and it sends a message that you do not count as a human being unless your skin is white. It's depressing. I love Disney and I want to see them to try harder to add more POC in their movies.
Beginner

Con

My opponent's grossly misrepresenting my views aside, I'd like to wrap this up by revisiting the more important points of contention I've elicited in round 3:
Points of contention:

-My opponent tells us that Disney needs more POC to be 'better'. My opponent fails to define what this means. Better in what area? Better for what purpose?
My opponent fails to respond to this point on contention. As I've argued, Disney is already doing well without POC. My opponent did not provide any evidence as to how or why more POC would be for the good of Disney as she earlier claimed in round 2.

-My opponent argues that Disney is getting boring. Is this true? Is there a trend of Disney failing to live up to its ability to entertain and entertain well? Judging by Disney's unwavering growth and success, I can assuredly say: NO.
This one is very similar to the one just above it. Again, my opponent's claim that having more POC would help Disney lacks empirical support.

-How much is enough? Are the POC that are currently there not enough? Prove it.
This is one point that my opponent keeps trying to put across on the table. It is also the point that remains the most blatantly nothing more than a claim. I've aked my opponent to show how much 'enough' is. In light of this question's having been evaded (as were several other points), this will be considered a concession.

-Does having characters be white really spoil a film and make it 'boring'? Would having POC make it unboring? If skin color shouldn't define a thing's worth, wouldn't this anti-white criticism be discrimination on your part?

Calling me blind and deaf doesn't resolve the fact that this point of contention holds.


PRO: The reason I'm debating this is a few reason. Yes, I want Cultural awareness and equality along with notion against discrimination. But there is also one huge thing: it's getting boring.
Response: First, upon compelling lack of real evidence showing that Disney's 4 POC are truly insufficient in sending a message of cultural awareness, it is evident that my opponent's list of assertions are just that: assertions. I argue that 4 POC is enough. Disney is doing well, as I've established in my previous rounds. There is nothing to say otherwise. Again, isn't the 'huge point' Disney's being boring according to your round 2? Isn't this discrimination on your part?

I will end my round with this question to the audience: Has my opponent truly proven that the 4 currently there are not enough??
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
Totally. Just fought that.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Totally. Can't fight that.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Totally. Can't fight that.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
MockeryBeginnerTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments go to Con, with a logical and analytic view and showing that the POC values are not skewed the way it is believed (4 of 13 versus 9 of 13). Considering how long Disney has been around this is the breaker in the debate as it shows the business plan works. Also as Con pointed out French and Spanish are different races. Other points are tied.
Vote Placed by TheAntidoter 3 years ago
TheAntidoter
MockeryBeginnerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro Conceded that Disney Was doing successful as a company, and never showed what outweighed that piece of evidence. That Individual point won on my vote.