Disney+ Purge Backlash saves documentary about Howard Ashman – for now

The Walt Disney Company was forced into an embarrassing about-face after the reaction to its decision to remove was generally negative Howardthe documentary about the celebrated poet Howard Ashman, as part of their overall intent to remove hundreds of hours of online content from their Disney+ streaming platform.

As the titles of those to be removed from the service were announced yesterday, the House of Mouse has drawn criticism for trying to remove the tribute to Ashman, a gay man who co-wrote the songs for Disney Little Mermaid Animated classic – a week ahead of the release of the film’s upcoming live-action remake and on the eve of Pride Month, which celebrates LGBTQ+ people around the world.

COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAYScroll to continue with the content

Ashman collaborated with Alan Menken writing the songs for several Disney animated films, including Beauty and the Beast And The little mermaid – and the duo teamed up to write hits like Mermaid‘s “Under the Sea” and “Friend Like Me”, memorably performed by Robin Williams in the legendary Disney animated film, Aladdin. Ashman and Menken had previously produced several popular musicals, including little shop of horrors, and inspired a generation of musicians.

Howard Ashman Disney
Image via Disney+

RELATED: How Howard Ashman’s Queer Vision Made Me Fall in Love with Disney

When the news broke, numerous commentators took to social media to denounce the decision, publicly calling Disney to task and asking if they even knew their own story.

Why is Howard Ashman so important in Disney history?

Disney fans will know that The little mermaid marked the beginning of the Disney Renaissance, the second golden era for the company’s animation division. The first three films of this renaissance were made directly as a result of Ashman’s influence – in particular, he insisted that Part of Your World be preserved The little mermaid, and that would later become Ariel’s signature song. He was then called to the rescue Beauty and the Beast how it toiled away in development hell.

Ashman died of AIDS at the tragically young age of 40 Beauty and the Beast made it to the cinema. Before he died, however, he bestowed one final blessing on Disney—the original screenplay Aladdin. The fact that Disney was so keen to remove a tribute to one of the most influential figures in their history was nothing short of disgraceful, and no credit is due for Disney basing its decision on a disastrous exercise in the way it… conducts public relations work.

Also, the timing is particularly annoying given that the company is also trying to fight the good fight against the Florida governor Ron DeSantis in a legal battle that began with a fight over LGBTQ+ rights. Disney has publicly sided with the community, but Mickey Mouse has made a colossal misstep.

Check out the trailer Howard below.

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: dustinhuang@24ssports.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button