Disney adds warning to Muppet Show over ‘mistreatment of people or cultures’ - including the Irish
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Disney adds warning to Muppet Show over ‘mistreatment of people or cultures’ - including the Irish

DISNEY HAS added an “offensive content” warning to The Muppet Show amid concerns over its use of “stereotypes” and “mistreatment of people or cultures” - including the Irish.

Anyone watching the iconic Jim Henson series on Disney+ will now be required to navigate a warning, which precedes each episode of the puppet-based comedy show. 

Disney made all five series of the show available to watch on its streaming service last Friday. 

However, anyone accessing the The Muppet Show would have been greeted with the disclaimer. 

It reads: “This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. 

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“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. 

“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.” 

At present, The Muppet Show can only be viewed from an adult account on Disney+. 

The warning is thought to relate to the design of several characters of Native American, Arab and East Asian origin. 

In each instance, there was apparent concern that the show was endorsing negative stereotypes for each ethnicity. 

Disney has refused to confirm what the warning specifically refers to. 

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However, some could argue it also extends to the show’s depiction of Irish culture. 

The Muppet Show has been guilty of endorsing stereotypes around Ireland. 

One sketch saw a trio of characters don Aran sweaters to sing Danny Boy with several giant shamrocks in the background. 

Another, sees the so-called “Irish Rats” take to the stage to perform an Irish folk-style ditty about their love of cheese. 

While neither sketch is likely to offend the majority, there are some who would argue such depictions endorse negative or cliched depictions of Ireland. 

Last year, Notre Dame University faced similar criticism over its continued use of the nickname “The Fighting Irish” for its football team and the fact they used a leprechaun as a mascot. 

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Despite a backlash from a small section of critics, Notre Dame refused to change either the name or mascot attached to the team.