For a lot of us growing up, Disney played an important role in our childhood. I know that I personally grew up watching almost only Disney movies, and to this day I still love watching them from time to time to feel even the littlest bit of that nostalgia again.
In recent months though, it seems that it's become popular to call out literally anyone and anything for being "problematic" or "inappropriate", and Disney is no exception. It all started when someone decided to call out the famous tune from The Little Mermaid, 'Kiss the Girl' as being sexist and problematic. Apart from this, many popular Christmas songs and movies have also been called out as problematic as well.
Now, critics are taking things a step further and accusing the beloved classic Hakuna Matata from 'The Lion King" of cultural appropriation. Shelton Mpala, an activist from Zimbabwe, has taken it upon himself to launch a petition on Change.org, urging Disney to give up their trademarking of the phrase.
The phrase "hakuna matata" directly translates to "no worries", but according to Mpala, the trademarking of this phrase by Disney is an example of "colonialism" and "robbery". The petition currently has just under 105,000 signatures.
"Hakuna Matata has been used by most Kiswahili-speaking countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo... Disney can't be allowed to trademark something that it didn't invent."
While I definitely do see both sides of the argument here, one has to wonder... Are we becoming too sensitive as human beings? We make it our mission to criticize every little thing for being racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., when these things were created with the intent to bring us joy. I'm sure Disney didn't trademark Hakuna Matata with the intent of appropriating a culture - but I do see how a culture could feel appropriated by this action.
What do you think? Should Disney let go of their trademark, or continue to live worry-free, just as the phrase intends?
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