Pinterest and The Knot, the two most popular websites for wedding inspiration and planning, have now decided to do away with plantation weddings. These seem to be the US equivalent of weddings at stately homes in the UK. Except of course that many of the
US homes, especially in the south, have a historic connection to slavery.
At the pressure from of campaign group known as Color of Change, both Pinterest and The Knot have started cracking down on all the plantation wedding venues which were once slave plantations.
The Knot hasn't banned any plantation venues from the
platform, but has restricted hw they can describe themselves by introducing new guidelines. The chief marketing officer of the wedding planning website, Dhanusha Sivajee, said that plantations can no longer use language that glorifies, celebrates, or
romanticizes Southern plantation history.
Pinterest has taken things to the extreme by completely restricting any content around plantation weddings and is also said to be working on going as far as de-indexing Google searches relating to the website's content about plantation weddings. A
Pinterest spokesperson said:
Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things. We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them
Researchers at King's College London (KCL) asked over 2,000 students about their views on free speech on campus and in society.
The majority (59%) of Conservative-voting students said they believe that those who share their views are reluctant to express themselves at university. This compared with 36% of those voted Labour and 37% of those who voted for the Liberal Democrats.
Students who voted for the Green Party were the most comfortable with expressing their views, with just 32% saying that their like-minded peers would self-censor on campus.
A quarter of students, irrespective of their political persuasion, said they
are unable to express their views at university because they are scared of disagreeing with their peers, according to the KCL study.
Half think that free speech is under threat in society as a whole.
The professional body for UK directors has released its first set of guidelines for directing nudity and simulated sex in TV and film.
Directors UK has advised a ban on full nudity in any audition or call back and no semi-nudity in first auditions, and have instead suggested performers wear a bikini or trunks and bring a chaperone.
The group also suggested that if a recall requires semi-nudity, the performer and their agent must have 48 hours' notice and the full script.
And that the production must also obtain explicit written consent from the performer prior to them being filmed or photographed nude or semi-nude.
The release of guidelines follows the #MeToo movement, and the revelation that some in the industry demanded sexual favours for work.
It all seems reasonable enough, but a feminist columnist in the Guardian is rather hoping that the rules will lead to the end of the nude scene. Barbara Ellen writes in an
article from theguardian.com :
All of which is commendable, but shouldn't audiences also change their attitudes? As it is, certain men weirdly seem to presume that they have a right to see women naked. Guys, calm down -- you bought a television subscription or a
cinema ticket, not a VIP seat at a lap-dancing show.
Let's face it, most nude scenes are gratuitous -- even when integral to the story, nudity could usually be suggested without anyone actually being naked. Yet here we are, two years since #MeToo, and actresses are still not only having
to strip but being denounced for hating doing it. While on-screen nudity is a choice, and some are fine about it, too many others feel uncomfortable and obliged.
Perhaps the new guidelines will help people such as Clarke in the simplest, most effective way possible -- making it a damn sight more difficult to justify asking them to get undressed in the first place.
rDisney is promising an extensive near complete library of its films to be made available on its new streaming service, Disney Plus. This has necessitated a review of content in order to bring it up to date with modern-PC sensibilities.
It has already been reported that a very notably absent film from the catalogue will be the Oscar-winning 1946 animated musical Song of the South , that deals with the post civil war period in the United States and the abolition of slavery. It
inevitably included themes and depictions that are now forbidden.
Also for the chop is the Dumbo scene featuring the character of Jim Crow, a charcater naming referencing US racial segregation laws. Then there's the seduction of twin Barbie dolls in Toy Story 2 -- where a character by the name of
Stinky Pete is seen promising the Barbies roles in Toy Story 3 . This was judged out of order on #MeToo grounds.
A new addition to the list is the cartoon Lady and the Tramp from 1955. The film has a song featuring a short appearance of two conjoined cats called Si and Am. The term 'Siamese Twins' is now frowned upon so it seems likely that this allusion
will have to be overdubbed for release on Disney Plus.
According to IMDb, an early pre-release cut of the film had a much longer appearance featuring the cats, but this was mostly deleted in 1955 as it was decided that the awkward restricted movement of the cats didn't really fit in with the rest of the
The Disney+ streaming service has now started and so commentators have been finding out ho Disney has addressed 'inappropriate content'.
Well the good news is that Disney has opted for warnings over cuts. The Verge writes:
Some of Disney's older movies streaming on Disney+ will include disclaimers about the cultural context of certain scenes that are considered outright racist and prejudiced today. The disclaimer on certain titles is found within the description box,
and reads, This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions. The Verge also notes that warning only runs before the movie and does not appear again in the video.
One popular example floating around Twitter is Disney's 1941 animated feature film, Dumbo . An infamous scene at the end of the movie finds a group of crows singing about seeing an elephant fly. The scene relies on a series of racist stereotypes to
get through the song, including naming the lead character Jim Crow, a mocking term used to insult black men. The scene is still in the version streaming on Disney+.
It's encouraging to see Disney acknowledge the darker elements of its past film and TV content, but this disclaimer is also the bare minimum, writer, critic, and Disney expert Josh Spiegel told The Verge:
Frankly, a lot of Disney+ subscribers might not even notice the disclaimer, instead of just clicking Play on a title.
Gravity Falls , a popular Disney cartoon series, has been on the receiving end of Disney's censorship blade. The series ended only a couple of years ago, but the character of Grunkle Stan has had the symbol removed from his fez in the first part
of Season 1.
The symbol was supposed to be a fish but the theory behind the change was that maybe it too closely resembled the crescent moon, the symbol of islam. It seems unlikely that there was anything intended by the resemblance.
A TV ad for PopJam, a social media app designed for 7 to 12 year olds, seen in July 2019 on CITV. An on-screen image of a phone showed an illustrative scroll of a PopJam news feed which displayed various users' PopJam virtual artwork. Large text on
the right of the image stated LIKES with a heart emoji and with an increasing figure. The next clip showed an image of a phone with a different virtual drawing on its screen. Large text to the left stated FOLLOWERS with an image of a number rising
quickly from 96 to 10,000. A star emoji was seen increasing in size as the figures increased. A female voice-over stated, Get likes and followers to level up.
A complainant, who was concerned that the ad's encouragement to get likes and followers to level up could be detrimental to children's mental health and affect their self-esteem, challenged whether the ad could cause harm to those
under 18 years of age and was irresponsible.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA understood that PopJam was an app designed for 7- to 12-year-old children and that the ad was seen on a children's TV channel. The ad featured the claim get likes and followers to level up, which we considered explicitly
encouraged children to seek likes and followers in order to progress through the app. We understood that there were other ways of advancing through the app, but that was not explained in the ad. We considered that the suggestion that the acquisition of
likes and followers was the only means of progression was likely to give children the impression that popularity on social media was something that should be pursued because it was desirable in its own right. We were therefore concerned that the ad's
encouragement to gain likes and followers could cause children to develop an unhealthy perception that popularity on social media was inherently valuable which was likely to be detrimental to their mental health and self-esteem. As such, we concluded
that the ad was likely to cause harm to those under 18 and was irresponsible.
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told SuperAwesome Trading Ltd t/a PopJam not to use the claim get likes and followers to level up in future and to ensure that they did not suggest that gaining popularity and
the acquisition of likes and followers were desirable things in their own right.
You may not like what people are thinking, you may be offended by what they are thinking, but you need to KNOW what they are thinking. If Cameron had known what people were thinking he wouldn't have called the EU referendum