Why Do Cartoon Villains Speak in Foreign Accents?

Isabel Fattal, The Atlantic, Jan 09, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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With the recent news that Disney will acquire the lion king's share of American cultural assets it becomes relevant to ask about the messages it uses this content to send. History does not reassure us. From the ideology of Donald Duck to the sexism of Disney princesses to their issues with dark skin, Disney has been sending messages of dubious ethical value to children for decades. This article examines another aspect: why Disney villians all have 'foreign' accents. Note that "stereotyped uses of language aren’t an industry-wide norm; they said that networks such as PBS make a concerted effort to prioritize racial and ethnic diversity and accuracy." 

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