Disney-comics digest #391.
72260.2635 at compuserve.com
Sat Jul 23 05:39:07 CEST 1994
Too quiet? Here's an interesting bit of nonsense to disturb the
quietude... since a few people on here have been nice enough to express
an interest in seeing my "War of the Wendigo" story, I can pass on the
latest bit of idiocy about that Peeweegah sequel.
Several years ago Disney Disney Comics had put this 28 page
story of mine on the schedule, only to be yanked at the last minute. At
the time I was told that the reason for the banning of the story was
simply that it involved INDIANS (Barks' Pygmy Indians), and that the
Disney was SO worried about being politically correct and had so little
interest in having any hassles over something as completely unimportant
to them as comic books, that they had decided not to review the story
but to simply ban it on the basis of the fact that it contained Indians.
Then I started hearing several other versions of the reason for
the ban, none of which bear repeating.
Finally, last month, during a meeting Gladstone editor John
Clark was having with the Disney operative who has the job of approving
everything that Gladstone does, the guy (without prompting) brought up
the subject of the story, and said that the only reason it was banned
was that all the Indians looked alike, and one Disney executive thought
this was very insulting to Indians. Naturally I had only been copying
Barks' original... but knowing that nobody at Disney knows anything
about Barks' comics, this reasoning was the first that actually began to
even sound like a reasonable (if mislead) objection to the story (where,
of course, the Indians are the heroes). So I told John that since I'd
put so much extra work into the dialogue in that tale which would only
be used in an American edition, I was particularly interested in seeing
them use the tale, and I offered to retouch the art to make the
Peeweegahs look generally different. So he decided to suggest this to
Disney, while also saying that they planned to print my sequel in a
special large edition with Barks' original (in a "ploy" to see if they
could use my story as is, since it would look very odd if we had to
alter the Indians in the second story if they could remain the same in
the original... see? Strategy.)
Anyway, if you've been following this digest, you'd know all
this so far.
John Clark just sent me the letter from Disney saying what I
would have to do to my sequel to get it approved for publication. Not
only would I have to make sure all the Peeweegahs looked completely
different, but I would need to redraw them to look like "wood spirits"
or fairies or something, and they would need to be colored blue or green
or some color to make sure they were no longer human beings. And
obviously all reference to them being human (much less Indians) would be
deleted, as well as any clothing they were wearing or teepees they were
living in or Indian stuff they were using... and all the dialogue in my
carefully written dialogue that referred to them as Indians would be
Naturally, my response was "well, screw THAT!" I mean, it's not
even like I'd get 1 penny in royalty for the use of the story, so I'm
not about to bend over backwards to cowtow to such an idiotic corporate
Obviously, then, the original report was completely accurate.
Disney is a corporation SO hung up on being mindlessly "politically
correct" and are so worried about attracting ANY attention with the use
of any sort of ethnic type (not mere stereotype, but ANY use of an
ethnic sort) that the story is truly banned simply because it contains
Indians, regardless of how nobley they are depicted.
And as far as Gladstone's other idea of reprinting "Land of the
Pygmy Indians" -- nope, it is permanently banned from use.
After a few years of dealing with Disney, you'd get used this
sort of nonsense or you'd quickly go nuts. It's a two-sided matter: you
have a huge corporation which is neuroticly concerned about its public
image -- then you have a huge corporate system of people who are
terrified of making a decision to allow something that would backfire
and cost them their next promotion, in addition to how little respect
they have for lowly comic books -- this sort of thing will always
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