I wasn’t sure I’d ever blog again. Hadn’t I said everything I had to say about Disney? In particular, hadn’t I already spoken my peace on the issues of gender, sexual orientation, race, and class which so often get under my skin when we’re talking about Disney?
But today, I’m innocently listening to the 2010 compilation album, J is for Jackson 5, and I swear to you my heart skipped a beat when I hear a little number from Song of the South, a movie about which I’ve already expressed an opinion a few times. And whaddya know, it turns out this track was on their debut album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. You can see them performing another version of this song live on what appears to be American Bandstand or some such show.
The controversy over Song of the South is not new, and Snopes tells me that Disney “kept [the film] out of circulation all throughout the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s.” So I’m surprised that out of the enormous Disney catalog, they picked something from Song of the South to cover. Was there any cultural fallout? Google doesn’t seem to think so. And given that it was re-released as part of such a recent compilation, the Jacksons don’t seem to have a problem with it either. But, well, there’s plenty of commentary out there about Michael Jackson and his relationship with race, which I think it’s safe to say is a rather complex question.
But wow. Zip A Dee Doo Dah.