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Disney removes 'problematic' character from meet-and-greets — and no, it's not the park's cross-dressing Evil Queen
A 'Tinker Bell' character outside the Disney Store in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Disney removes 'problematic' character from meet-and-greets — and no, it's not the park's cross-dressing Evil Queen

Disney has driven its star fairy to the margins after finding her offensive.

Disney has in recent years reportedly taken to having transvestites assume the roles of certain iconic female characters in its parks. Apparently, the company — growing increasingly synonymous with box office bombs — saw an opportunity to deprive actresses of at least one more female role at the Magic Kingdom: Tinker Bell.

Whereas the company evidently sees no issue with mustachioed men in dresses dealing with young children, it reportedly regards the fictional character from J.M. Barrie's 1904 play "Peter Pan," later made iconic in the 1953 Walt Disney film of the same name, as "problematic."

Branding her as such on account of her interest in a member of the opposite sex and likely her femininity as well, Disney has effectively clipped Tinker Bell's wings and thrown her into storage.

That Park Place's Jonas Campbell told Blaze News, "I suspect that Disney would work harder to keep the character in the parks if the Peter Pan & Wendy film that race-swapped Tinker Bell had been more successful, instead of being dumped onto Disney+ and forgotten."

"That attempt at 'updating' the character did not resonate with audiences, and not long after we see a mainstay meet-and-greet character played by young, athletic, white female performer disappear from Disney's biggest resort," added Campbell.


In 2017, Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors, "We can take those values, which we deem important societally, and actually change people's behavior — get people to be more accepting of the multiple differences and cultures and races and all other facets of our lives and our people."

In the years since, Disney has worked ardently to socially engineer the audience Iger feels it deserves. That campaign has involved transmogrifying Disney's intellectual properties and eliminating nonconforming content.

'These stereotypes were wrong then and are now.'

The so-called experts behind the company's Stories Matter team have thought long and hard about what beloved characters are offensive to postmodern sensibilities.

The New York Times reported in 2022 that the Stories Matter experts' thin skin broke when watching episodes of "The Muppet Show" from the 1970s. The offending episodes, like other older Disney films such as "Dumbo," were slapped with disclaimers indicating they contained "negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures."

"These stereotypes were wrong then and are now," read the disclaimers.

The professionally offended Stories Matter team also took issue with various iconic Disney characters such as Ursula from "The Little Mermaid" — a supposedly "queer coded" character with skin dark enough to prompt concerns about racism, reported the Times.

Captain Hook from "Peter Pan," a film taken off children's Disney+ profiles for "breaching content advisories," was also deemed problematic. Whereas some viewers might conclude from Disney's depiction of a villain missing a hand that amputees can be morally dynamic like everyone else, the Times indicated executives feared Hook could be interpreted as a slight against the disabled.

Tinker Bell was among the characters slated for destruction because she is "body conscious" and desirous of Peter Pan's attention.

Ousting the fairy

Tinker Bell was not only used for decades in Disney advertisements but was a popular meet-and-greet character at Walt Disney World prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic, however, she disappeared along with all other such characters. Although the various costumed cast members ultimately returned to their posts, Tinker Bell was noticeably absent.

'Tinker Bell is significant to many longtime Disney fans because of her direct association with Walt.'

Inside the Magic recently reported that her signage has been officially removed from Town Square Theater, signaling her banishment from the Magic Kingdom's meet-and-greets. Guests apparently can only now meet Disney's iconic rodent at Bell's former stomping grounds.

According to Inside the Magic, Tinker Bell's presence in the park has more or less been reduced to a silent flyby, a mute cameo on a float, and an old statue.

The Plan Disney Committee indicated in February, "At present, Tinker Bell does not hold a 'meet and greet' opportunity at Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, she does make her evening flight over Magic Kingdom Park at the end of the Happily Ever After nighttime fireworks show!"

Outside the Magic Kingdom, there remains the possibility of a meet-and-greet with the fairy at the Disneyland Resort in California, but that too may change.

Jonas Campbell told Blaze News, "Tinker Bell is significant to many longtime Disney fans because of her direct association with Walt and the identity of the company that holds the IP rights to his name."

"If you look at the Disney+ logo graphic of a semi-circle being formed over the name, that's a callback to the Walt Disney Pictures logo of Tinker Bell flying over the castle," continued Campbell. "Tinker Bell used to appear in the Disneyland TV series and the 'Wonderful World of Disney' with Walt during his segments."

Campbell suggested the timing of Tinker Bell's ouster is strategic.

"I think Disney is taking the opportunity while demand is down for the character," said Campbell. "They closed down the division that made the Tinker Bell / Pixie Hollow movies and specials, and they never brought the character back to Walt Disney World for a meet-and-greet. The character is currently appearing in some parades and as part of the nighttime spectaculars, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this aspect updated as soon as the company can find a different character that current Imagineering fits."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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