Polynesian activists accuse Disney of 'brown face' over Maui costume

The advertisement for the costume on disneystore.com promises 'Your little one will set off on adventures in this Maui Costume'. Photograph:( Others )

New Delhi, India Sep 20, 2016, 03.06 PM (IST)
Polynesian activists have accused Disney of promoting 'brown face' through their Halloween costumes of the Pacific demi-god Maui.

Disney's upcoming animated feature Moana is set to release in November this year. The full-body costume, designed to look like the Maui character, is voiced by Dwayne Johnson. It features brown skin with traditional tattoos, a grass skirt and bone necklace.

The advertisement for the costume on disneystore.com promises 'Your little one will set off on adventures in this Maui Costume'.

Marama Fox, co-leader of New Zealand's Maori Party, accused Disney of aiming to "make a profit off the back of another culture's beliefs and history", AFP reported.

"(It's) no different to putting the image of one of our ancestors on a shower curtain or a beer bottle," she told Fairfax Media.

People took to Twitter to express their anger over Disney's choice of colour and tattoos on the costume.
     
However, some preferred to look over the idea attached to the costume.
   
"Right now Polynesian people from across the Pacific region are voicing their views about this costume and it's their voices that are important right now," New Zealand Human Rights Commission told the stuff.co.nz news website. "We hope Disney listens to the views of the communities and people whose cultures their movie is based upon." 

Disney came under fire in June for the representation of the Polynesian demi-god Maui in the movie. The character appears as obese in the movie's trailer. Critics slammed Disney for perpetuating the stereotype that people from Pacific Islands are overweight.

(WION with inputs from AFP)
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