Arab American group charges "Aladdin' with racial slurs

Published May 23, 1993|Updated Oct. 9, 2005

A group of Arab Americans alleging racial slurs against Arabs is demanding changes in Walt Disney's Aladdin.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) charges that the film makes slurs against Arabs that would never be accepted if directed at any other ethnic group.

"I come from a land . . . where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home," go the opening lyrics according to a text released by the ADC.

The ADC is asking that Disney change the film when it releases it as a videocassette on Oct. 1.

The Walt Disney film studio last week rejected the demand _ at first. "We have no intentions of changing Howard Ashman's lyrics," a Disney spokesman said.

Later in the day, however, officials from the studio said they would meet with the group. "We are aware of their concerns, and we are meeting with the concerned groups . . . here at the studio," the spokesman said, adding: "No final decision has been made."

Former Sen. James Abourezk, ADC's founder and chairman, told a news conference in Manaman, Bahrain, that ADC president Albert Mokhiber was in California to press his case with Disney's top officials.

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