Disney World changes 'sexist' portion of Pirates of the Caribbean ride
When you hear "Pirates Of The Caribbean," you probably think of the movies, starring Johnny Depp as the shrewd, eccentric and very drunk Captain Jack Sparrow. But before it was a blockbuster movie franchise, it was a ride at Disney World. In fact, it was the last attraction Walt Disney personally worked on, debuting in Disneyland in 1967 and Disney World in 1973.
The ride features animatronic pirates doing all the piratey things - drinking, fighting, stealing and chasing women. But as times have changed, the attraction has been altered, toning down scenes in which women are objectified. For example, in one scene, the pirates used to chase women for romantic purposes. Now they chase women for food, and a woman flips the script, chasing one of them. In another scene, a character used to appear tired from too much sex. Now he's tired from too much food. Evidently modern pirates are very hungry.
Now the Mouse House has made the most drastic update, ditching the "wench auction." In this section of the attraction, riders would see several women tied up, and being sold to a bunch of drunken pirates. "What be I offered for this winsome wench?" yelled the auctioneer. Then he called to the women, "Shift yer cargo, dearie. Show ’em yer larboard side!" The pirates then yell, "We wants the redhead!" While this certainly is a part of pirate lore, the whole "selling women as brides" thing doesn't play so well in a post-#MeToo world. Many people found the scene sexist and arrrrrr-chaic. (Sorry.)
In the revamped ride, the Redhead becomes one of the gun-toting pirates. Rather than be sold, she helps the auctioneer gather goods from the townspeople to auction off to the pirates. "We believe the time is right to turn the page to a new story in this scene, consistent with the humorous, adventurous spirit of the attraction," said a Disney spokesperson to the OC Register.
Some people applauded Disney for tweaking the ride, considering that depictions of human trafficking and sexual assault don't exactly scream "family fun." Also, this gives one of the few female characters on the ride some agency. "People are actually mad about the redhead in Pirates going from being an object to an actual individual?" scoffed one Twitter user.
Other people railed against Disney for giving into political correctness. Pirates, by nature, are unsavory people who commit a ton of immoral actions, from stealing to binge drinking to arson. Should those elements of the ride be changed as well? "The pirates at the end of the ride will no longer burn the town; instead they'll plant trees & participate in a recycling program," snarked one Twitter user.
Die-hard Disney fans might be upset by the changes, but it's important to remember that this is a family friendly theme park, meant to be inclusive to everyone. If you're going to be outraged by anything at Disney World, it should be the prices. And the real question is, why doesn't Donald Duck wear pants? He should be arrested for indecent exposure!
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