Disney is no stranger to upsetting people, and this was a real yikes moment, indeed. A high school cheerleading squad got to do their thing at the Happiest Pace on Earth, and it did not end well.
Students from The Port Neches-Groves “Indianettes” High School drill team need to edit their act, because it’s pretty offensive. Sadly, it took them going all the way to Orlando to figure that out.
Disney World has come under criticism for allowing a high school cheerleading squad to march in a parade at the theme park using racist Native American stereotypes in both their chants and attire. However, Disney has recently expressed their regret for doing so.
Footage of the performance, which featured dozens of kids from the Port Neches-Groves “Indianettes” High School drill team from Texas, instantly went viral on social media on Thursday. “I-N-D-I-A-N-S scalp ’em, Indians, scalp ’em,” they chanted as they dressed in fringed clothes and danced with gestures similar to those seen in Native American cultures.
Native American leaders reacted angrily to the footage of the group, who had been invited to perform in Orlando, calling their act “dehumanizing.” People were upset, labeling the act racist and tagging the school’s Twitter account, which has since been removed.
A Disney spokesperson said in a statement Friday, “The live performance in our park did not reflect our core values, and we regret it took place. It was not consistent with the audition tape the school provided and we have immediately put measures in place so this is not repeated.”
Last summer, the theme park withdrew all “local” characters from its Jungle Cruise attraction in a fairly similar occurrence. The event came after Disney CEO Bob Chapek received a lot of flak for declining to officially oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” policy, which has led to a planned protest by Disney employees next week.
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