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HomeMoviesDisney Reverses Removal Of One Disney Plus Documentary After Online Backlash

Disney Reverses Removal Of One Disney Plus Documentary After Online Backlash


Disney is walking back their decision to remove the Disney+ documentary Howard after online backlash. Directed by Don Hahn, Howard is a 2020 biographical documentary about the life of composer Howard Ashman. A long collaborator with fellow composer Alan Menken, Ashman was the musical mind behind some of Disney’s most iconic scores, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.

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After initially deciding to remove the documentary, Disney has reverses their decision to yank Howard from Disney+, according to Deadline. Disney had previously announced that Howard would depart from the platform on May 26. After heated online backlash from Disney fans, including a full thread picked up by Deadline in a prior reporting, the House of Mouse has decided to keep Howard on the platform after all.


Why Howard’s Initial Removal Decision Caused So Much Backlash

As commenters online were quick to note, the timing of Howard’s removal from Disney+ could not have been any worse. For one, Ashman composed the score for the original 1989 version of The Little Mermaid. With The Little Mermaid live-action film also releasing on May 26, Disney’s decision to take Howard down from the platform felt like a slap in the face to fans.

In addition to his flourishing musical career, Ashman was also a notable member of the LGBTQ+ community, which the documentary mentions. Falling at the end of May, Howard’s removal also would have meant taking one of their few queer-themes films off of the platform right before Pride Month begins in June. So, not only would Disney be removing the documentary about the genius behind The Little Mermaid score, but they would also be taking a step in the wrong direction in terms of representation in a time when so little of their media contains LGBTQ+ characters. Related: Why There Are So Many “First” Gay Disney Characters

Luckily, Disney listened to this backlash and is keeping Howard on the platform. Though their initial decision is certainly disheartening, it is possible that the attention the move got will allow more people to find out about the documentary. In that case, one byproduct of the Howard ordeal can hopefully swing towards the other direction and get more exposure for an LGBTQ+ Disney icon than there would have been, just in time for Pride Month.

Source: Deadline

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This story originally appeared on Screenrant

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