One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn’t belong…let’s see: Minnie Mouse, Tom Sawyer’s Island, Fantasmic Logo…In’jun Donald?!
Reader Audra sent over this image, taken at Disneyland, of the side of the penny-stretching machine (remember those? you stick a penny and like 50 cents in, and get a smooshed penny with a souvenir design in it?). Here’s the penny itself (the middle one):
It’s a little hard to see, but the image is of Donald Duck, looking angry, and wearing a headdress. Here’s another image of Donald in a headdress I found on an antiques website, it’s a puzzle from 1955:
He looks remarkably more happy in that one, though is still brandishing a tomahawk and surrounded by stereotypical “Indian” gear.
Audra actually went to City Hall at Disney to inquire more (you go!) and said the cast member was shocked they still used that term on the penny machine.
Of course, Disney is on my worst offenders list for Native cultural appropriation and straight-up racism. They’re no strangers to blatantly offensive, ignorant, and insensitive portrayals of Indigenous peoples in their movies, marketing, and parks. Some of my first posts on this blog were inspired by a trip to Disney World. The posts can be found here:
Disneyworld Part III: Disney Wilderness Lodge (this one’s crazy–an entire hotel based on appropriations of Native culture)
If you’d like to submit a complaint to Disney (I’m not promising they’ll listen, but feel free to link to the blog), Audra pointed me to this site: https://secure-disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/help/contactUs?name=ContactUsPage&bhcp=1