Disney’s Long History of Scrubbing ‘Problematic’ Actors & Films


Disney, more than any other studio, has a very long history of removing actors who become potentially toxic investments for their brand. With the recent firing of outspoken conservative Gina Carano and adding warning labels to some of their classic animated films warning of racism, many are starting to think Disney has a track record of always doing the “right thing” when it comes to altering their status quo for the current culture.


Others think Disney is foolish.


They see Disney regularly editing older movies to scrub them of scenes or sequences they now see as potential backdraft explosions waiting to happen, even many completely benign scenarios from the random blurring out Darryl Hannah’s ass in Splash to removing any and all references to Song of the South in their theme parks.



Many may not know Disney has been doing this as far back as 1963. Back then, Walt Disney fired actor Tommy Kirk because he was having a relationship with another boy. Did it make sense culturally at the time? Perhaps. There was also the consideration of the age differences, but when it came down to it, Disney fired him because he was homosexual and was being too public about it. Back then, Disney was considered “the most conservative studio in town”, whereas now they’re often seen as one of the more “liberal studios in town”.




And speaking of pedophiles in the Disney stables, and scrubbing potentially hazardous details about their employees, a former vice president of Walt Disney Pictures and Television, Michael Laney, was recently sentenced to more than 6 years in prison after being found guilty for four counts of first-degree sexual abuse. But good luck finding any mention of it online. It’s been effectively scrubbed. Try finding the story on any ABC affiliate. 


In fact, Disney has always moved with the cultural zeitgeist, but rest assured that it is ALWAYS about the profit margin.  If anyone in their studio becomes culturally contentious or is perceived as immoral from an investment portfolio standpoint, they’re very likely not long with the studio.



And if that isn’t concerning enough, look at what Disney has done with Rogue One, The Mandalorian, and Rise of Skywalker. All of these have one common theme, and I’m not talking about the Star Wars universe itself. Nope. Each of these projects demonstrate how Disney is more than willing to insert a digital character and actor replacements into their products. And make no mistake. This is all merely content for consumers. Nothing more, nothing less.


Is it any stretch of the imagination that Disney would do something similar after releasing a controversial actress like Gina Carano? Would Disney be willing to hire new actors to reshoot all of the Gina’s parts and then rotoscope and digitally replace them through everything in Disney+ over this non-scandal? Why not? What if physical media makes a comeback? Will they replace her in the Blu-Ray set for The Mandalorian? How long before some studio decides to replace Kevin Spacey’s roles for a digital replacement voiced by… whomever?

How would the acting industry respond or the general public? We can’t recommend physical media enough.


And I hope you weren’t waiting on a Cara Dune action figure… because they are NEVER coming out.





Jamison Ashley

Comic geek, movie nerd, father, and husband - but not necessarily in that order. Current captain of this ship o' fools who is rapidly training everyone's computers and snarkphone spell-checkers to misspell 'supposebly.'