Netflix Pocahontas Update: They changed it for real this time!

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.24 Comments

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So this is a post where I get to admit I was wrong, but then it’s ok, because we actually have a win to celebrate! Quick recap, I was on netflix last week and saw that Pocahontas is on the site now. I clicked on the description, and found this:

I then went on a bit of a twitter ranty-rant, and later wrote a blog post to clarify and more deeply explain my issues with the description (no, it wasn’t that they used “American Indian”…), and to give some examples of the way netflix wrote about male-led Disney films. Here’s part of that post:

..the description reads like a porn or a bad romance novel–“An American Indian woman is supposed to marry the village’s best warrior, but she yearns for something more–and soon meets Capt. John Smith.” The use of “woman” and “yearns” is so…gross. Shudder. The problem? It overly sexualizes the film, and only positions Pocahontas in relation to her romantic options, not as a human being, you know, doing things.

I also want to make explicit the colonial white supremacy embedded in this description as well–of course Pocahontas wouldn’t be content with her backwards Native ways with her Native man…she yearns for something more.SPOILER ALERT: It’s a white dude. Of course. It’s perpetuating the idea that white colonizers are better, more than, and the solution to Native savagery. To quote Deray Mckesson, whose retweet was responsible for this getting so much visibility: watch whiteness work.

So at the end of the post, I went to get a new (non-mobile) screenshot to add to the text, and found that the description was different. I celebrated. But then I started getting emails and texts that, no, in fact the original description was still showing. I did my own investigation and found to my disappointment that the “new” description was actually just a shorter, secondary description that all the films have. I was sad, and added an addendum to the bottom of the post. Then I felt silly for celebrating what was, in fact, a misunderstanding of technology. I thought we were done.

BUT WAIT! What do I find in my inbox last night? An email from netflix!

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“Dear Dr. Keene,

Thanks for bringing attention to this synopsis. We do our best to accurately portray the plot and tone of the content we’re presenting, and in this case you were right to point out that we could do better. The synopsis has been updated to better reflect Pocahontas’ active role and to remove the suggestion that John Smith was her ultimate goal.


<netflix employee>”

And the new description?

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“A young American Indian girl tries to follow her heart and protect her tribe when settlers arrive and threaten the land she loves.”

Not bad, right?? Look at that. From an angry tweet to an actual change in the description. Sometimes I’m still amazed by the power of the internet.

The earlier post: “A deep read of netflix descriptions: Pocahontas edition”



  • Daughter of Achelous

    To the ire of white supremacists dads on Netflix everywhere. Good job.

  • Their website for the DVD shows the old description

  • djmc993150

    you are obsessed with sex.

    • Akivar

      Is that a bad thing?

  • Cian Smith

    Yeah for SJW’s everywhere! Nothing better to concern yourself about than this drivel? Alcoholism, homelessness, education, suicide? Nope. Less than sexual Netflix descriptions seem to be the soup du jour…

    • herthoughts

      I agree, but every little bit helps.

    • Yeah! It’s no like that description is a reflection of/reinforces negative ideals about a group of people, right??

      Fuckin moron.

    • Akivar

      So because one opinion was posted, and it got a viral response, means that she doesn’t care about anything else in the world?

      That would be akin to saying the only thing you care about in the world is this one article about someone who was offended. I hope that you can see that there is a world out there with plenty of concern to be had.

      It doesn’t matter about if you concern yourself with homelessness for a full 5 years and with one description for less than 5 minutes, people will only see the thing that happened for 5 minutes and disregard all the things you did to help with those homeless people.

      It’s sad to see people out there with limited cognitive ability. I pray that you figure out a way to attain more.

  • J. Olsson

    Oh my fucking god, can you people be that easily offended? Get a hobby, you fucking hippies

    • herthoughts

      Why are you even reading this blog? Sounds like you need a hobby too.

    • Akivar

      Hypocritical Statement you just posted.

      You’re easily offended by an article of a person who was easily offended. Therefore why are you even posting here?

      I would beg you to please refrain from posting in the future unless you have full control over your cognitive reasoning abilities.

      She was offended, she posted her opinion, netflix responded and agreed, they changed the description, both parties are content with the content.

      • J. Olsson

        Where did I say I was offended? I’m irritated over the fact that this kind of bullshit gets attention. And of course Netflix “agrees”; if they didn’t, she would’ve started a PC shit storm, just like all the others “feminists” (Note, I support equality, but modern feminists are just hating on all men) who rage as soon as they don’t get exactly what they want. And what they want is usually not even that good of an idea if they actually think about it for more than the 2 seconds it takes for them to scream “Patriarchy.

        At least this political correct crap will end soon enough, and things will get back to normal. And people like Adrienne will stop getting attention for stupid crap.

        Sorry for my bad grammar, English is my second language.

  • Kyle

    Sounds like somebody wanted to be offended.

    • That’s why you’re here, right?

    • Akivar

      You should do more in the way of reading the actual article before postulating your arguments and comments. It would do you a lot of good to learn how to read things.

      She doesn’t hate the movie, she was angered by the description of the movie she actually liked to watch.

      She Tweeted Netflix that the description felt like it was describing a porno, she then received an e-mail stating that they were happy that she made the complaint and that they too agreed that the description wasn’t fitting, so they made a more appropriate description. She was happy to see this change. Everyone is Happy in the End.

      Netflix is only a Company and is run and operated by people who are only Human, they make Human errors and bad judgment calls. No one in this world is perfect and to think that anyone is without flaws is ignorant. She didn’t say she was better than anyone else or that she wasn’t perfect, she voiced her opinion and the company heard it. There is no more to it.

  • Nicolette

    Good on Netflix. It’s easy for people to say that you are being overly sensitive when these things don’t affect them. I’m glad you said something and happy that Netflix didn’t just sweep it under the rug like most of our society regarding Native issues.

    • Akivar

      You gotta give it to Netflix to actually respond on issues like this, be it “Native Issues” or “literary issues” or even issues on “interpretations”. They knew that it didn’t fit the movie properly, whether they agreed with her opinion on sexual references or not, it made them think of a more appropriate description for the movie.

  • CowboyUp

    I didn’t know there was a Doctorate in whining. The reservations must be heaven on earth is this is what you spend your time flaking over. Down with the Patriarchy! Oh wait, tribal culture is patriarchal, what do we do now?

    • Juana Garcia


    • Akivar

      I didn’t know that many people couldn’t grasp the concept of a person having an opinion. It’s like all people can see of this one person is this one complaint. Like before this complaint happened they didn’t exist in the world, they didn’t do anything else positive for this world. It’s like this persons sole existence is to have been popped into existence make this tweet, get an e-mail, post another tweet, and then be popped out of existence again.

      It must be painful for you to know that she has done things with her life before this and she will continue to do things with her life after this.

      It must also be painful for you to read and comprehend because everything you just said there had nothing to do with what was posted in the article. It would do you a lot of good to spend a bit more time in school learning comprehension skills.

      • CowboyUp

        I certainly can grasp that concept, but apparently you can’t grasp the concept of a person having an opinion of someone’s opinion. And just because you don’t see the connection between my post and her opinion, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Maybe your condescention is getting in the way of your own comprehension.

        I myself can’t comprehend all this pain I should be feeling in the place of amusement. This could almost be a parody site. When she shuddered at the though of a woman yearning (are men allowed to yearn in PCville, or is it verbotten for us too?), I had too look up Dr. K to make sure I wasn’t being trolled. It’s a nice break from reading about the serious problems of the day. And who knows? Maybe I can help her see the molehills for what they are so she can tackle the mountains.


    You’re an absolute attention-seeking politically correct moron. This is pathetically ridiculous. Instead, why not take up a hobby like seeing how long you can shut up and not force your silly opinions on others?

  • Walks A Lot

    Well done. Thank you for your words and work I’ve been sharing your blog recently as the Salt Lake Tribune reported some high schoolers dressed up as Pochahontas on the Disney themed floats for Copper Hills High School in Utah. I cannot believe that some people are still doing this $&*+. Actually that a school would sanction it.

  • Cass Payne

    I meant to share this back when I first saw your post. DirectTV didn’t have nearly the racist or sexualized summary as Netflix, but it shifted the focus entirely away from Pocahontas. I took this back in March when it came on TV. I didn’t get a picture of the full summary, but after her “father” it also said “the man she loves.”