Behind the embracing facade of Disney, there is a dark shadow that falls upon it. Disney exploits women of color by not supplying needs and thinking about their mental health.
As we know from previous statements Disney has been accused of mistreating their cast, especially women of color but one of their own, Zendaya accuses Disney of manipulating Halle Bailey and other female black actresses to get what they want. Zendaya believes that Disney is using black actresses for personal gain, stating that her time at Disney showed her the methods of trapping actors and allowing insensitive comments to fly by. Zendaya says “I didn’t like my hair and makeup one time on a photo shoot, and my publicist told me, ‘You should just be happy with it — they haven’t had a black girl on the cover since forever.’ She’s no longer my publicist.” Maybe it’s me, but when it comes down to young black actors working for Disney I find it off-putting knowing that people who work for a company that is “inclusive” could say that, that shows me that Disney doesn’t care when it comes to insensitive comments. The fact that Disney did nothing to combat this comment is sad, it’s crazy that she had to get rid of this lady instead of Disney. The fact that the person dared to say this to her shows that Disney sees their black actresses as property for their gain. Not only is Disney insensitive when it comes down to their actors’ skin color that bothers me, but it is also the fact that Disney manipulates young black actresses to sign away their lives. Zendaya says that when she was younger she would always get into bad situations due to her never reading the contract fully and how she prefers to be able to read said contracts and be able to distinguish them herself so she can then have those conversations then and there. And while she doesn’t directly say Disney, we can put two and two together and say that she must have dealt with some bad contracts with Disney in the past. Zendaya speaks about how she felt undervalued and as we see from the quote she said it is clear that Disney didn’t care about her opinion in the earlier stages of her career. This is clearly shade to Disney as we know bc from the past she has said in an interview that she fought very hard for her hit TV show K.C. Undercover. Disney wasn’t feeling the fact that she wanted a TV show based fully on a black family. And the whole reason she wanted this show was because she played in the movie Shake It Up and she noticed that she was one of the only people of color on set and that put her off.
But not only did Zendaya have issues with Disney, but Ski Jackson had also dealt with something when regarding her time on the hit show “Jessie”. Jackson says that Disney would hire a hair stylist that knew how to do everyone else’s hair except black hair.
We know that Disney has lots of money so it’s not hard to hire someone who’s educated with black hair. They have no excuse due to the loads of resources they have access to. Ski says how every season there was a new stylist that never knew what they were doing when it came down to her hair, in the final season she found someone who knew what they were doing when it came to her hair. Ski says that she would have to do her hair by pre-twisting it and then she would have her mom help take it out, and they would just put some oil in it and send her out. All of this just because Disney wouldn’t hire someone educated enough to know how to work with natural hair. Ski says that she only lets a specific team work on her hair due to her past and she says confidently that she likes her new team. Now to me, this is crazy bc there are tons of people who know how to work on all types of hair, Ski went through a lot of challenges while on Disney just because they didn’t want to take her in as a fact when they decided who the next hair stylist should be.
And sadly Ski wasn’t the only black female actress that had problems when it came down to their appearance. Raven Symone said how she would tan 3-4 times a week, she would tan so often that one of the people said that she needs to stop tanning due to her being too dark and they no need to relight the entire show, Young Raven responds with “sorry I was just trying to be pretty”. To me, this is terrible and it is honestly disgusting knowing the fact that a young black woman to feel pretty for Disney “needs to tan to be darker”. It’s honestly really hypocritical too because Disney wouldn’t want to hire light skin actors because they weren’t dark enough but wouldn’t want to hire dark skin people. After all, “lips aren’t too big or their hair was too coarse”.
Even though they did not try to make an insensitive environment they have no excuses when it comes down to how their actors have been treated on set.“oh Disney wasn’t trying to seem racist” but that’s even worse, being racist\insesitive without trying is worse than actually trying to be racist in my opinion. When you hire someone of any race it’s important to try and create a safe space with the proper materials they may need. Hopefully after reading this, your eyes are now open to Disney’s insensitive to women of color.