Disney will replace the "wench auction" in its Pirates of The Caribbean rides

Posted Friday, June 30, 2017 9:08 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The pirates will no longer be saying “We wants the Redhead” in Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland after the auction scene undergoes a modification in 2018. The Walt Disney Company plans to make changes to the auction scene in the classic attraction at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris in the coming year.

Read more from The Orange County Register.

See also: Disney Parks Blog

Friday, June 30, 2017 4:16 PM

I chalk this one up to...I don't care enough to get excited. I want to say something deep and profound because I do have a deep connection to Disney. But, I just don't care if they take this our or not to be completely honest.

Friday, June 30, 2017 5:08 PM
janfrederick's avatar

I've always thought that it's a good thing they didn't portray it more realistically.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Friday, June 30, 2017 5:26 PM
Jeff's avatar

rollergator said:
But there is an enormous difference between recognizing a shameful legacy in our past and CELEBRATING it. There's a critical difference between having a confederate flag in a museum and having a GIANT one flying over I-10 in North Florida...one tells a story, the other shows great pride in the racism.

This. I don't understand why it's so hard to understand this. No one is interested in erasing the confederacy from history. Quite the opposite... most people want to make sure we never forget it. Memorializing people on the wrong side of history is not a moral quandary.

American history, as a subset of human history, is the most densely bizarre, contradictory story ever told. It's a story of epic achievement and disgrace at the same time. I often feel that George Washington himself personifies this perfectly. Here's arguably one of the most important founding fathers, leading the revolution, becoming our first president, and feeling so strongly about the dignity and sanctity of the office of president that he voluntarily limited his service to two terms. And yet, for all his fervent defense of democracy and freedom, he was a slave owner, something so diametrically opposed to the values he cared so deeply about.

The point is, America is both of those things. The only way we get better is by owning our sins and learning from them.

On the spectrum of offensive things, I don't think the Pirates scene is particularly bad or offensive. I just think that we're culturally ready to move on from it as far as entertainment for young families go. That doesn't make us weak, it makes us evolved.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Friday, June 30, 2017 5:45 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Unfortunate that we continue to butcher a classic ride.

We are talking about a scene, which depicts the reality of what happened in the 1700's, which is placed on a ride that is themed to the 1700's, this scene is somehow taken out of context, and now must be changed because someone got offended.

This is precisely what is wrong with the world today, no one wants to offend anyone else, in any way shape or form. If we operated like this in the 1700's, the pirates would have won, America would not have declared independence, the world would be a very different place. This is the road we are now on. Shame on everyone, our forefathers would be disgraced.

Friday, June 30, 2017 6:03 PM

Washington was the only Founding Father who freed his slaves. Granted, he did it by Will upon his wife's death...but he did it nonetheless at a time when that was pretty rare. However, it wasn't legal for the all the slaves to be freed then so some went to the grandchildren.

Friday, June 30, 2017 6:36 PM

Ya know, I see both sides of this. On one hand the Pirates ride is a whimsical cartoon dedicated to a past that none of us remember, and few of us know all about. It's fun, and it's funny. But on the other hand, some cartoons, even those from as late as the 30's and 40's, are no longer funny, and by today's standards are offensive. Things like sexual stereotypes and black face were often the order of the day back then, and it's something the best of us would not consider good entertainment today. And Pirates turned 50 this year, a lot has changed since then.

Maybe it's easy for us to say "Eh,... that's all gone now, lol." But we mustn't pretend that slavery and sexual abuse don't exist today, because it does. It's a real issue that probably shouldn't be displayed on an amusement park ride as something that's acceptable, even in hilarious cartoon form.

I see where some here will dismiss my thoughts as far reaching and we can all come up with examples in current "acceptable" entertainment where someone might be offended. One thing's for sure- I don't think I'd want the job at the world's foremost family entertainment company of trying to keep everybody on the right side of things. Things are constantly changing and there's always gonna be someone, somewhere with something to say.

Friday, June 30, 2017 7:57 PM

I think you're thinking too hard about this uniquely Disney problem.

Just listen to the ride audio. The titular pirates are not nice guys. They do lots of really bad things, including pillaging, raping, torturing, killing, cheating, stealing, and even...piracy. A little bit of sanitized human trafficking has always been just as socially unacceptable as it is today, and merely serves to emphasize just how evil these pirates really are.

So what changed, then?

What changed was the pirates themselves. These pirates used to be the bad guys, examples of how not to live your life. Then Disney goes and humanizes them. They got back-stories, even a moral code. They got to be the heroes in a bunch of movies, and now their story has gone from cautionary to aspirational. Now that these pirates are the sort of people you might want to be, the scope of their flaws needs to be tightened. Crimes against authority are still okay, but crimes against humanity are not...so the human trafficking has got to go.

I think we can thank Captain Sparrow for this one.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Friday, June 30, 2017 8:02 PM

We wants the Redhead!

Friday, June 30, 2017 8:07 PM

And to whomever above who wasn't keen on the redhead becoming a villain....Newsflash, she already is/was.

The painting over the bar scene shows her as a pirate later in life.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, June 30, 2017 8:08 PM
Friday, June 30, 2017 8:17 PM


If Peter Pan bothers you (and it should) Song of the South will make you shake your head and turn off the tv.

There is a story, perhaps not true, that alludes to a meeting that Bob Iger called with Whoppie Goldberg asking her to watch the film, and to give her opinion. Specifically as to whether the film could be shown today, even with appropriate language/disclosure to point out that it was a product of its era, etc.

The response was no effing way. Not because Ms. Goldberg was personally offended by it, which she most certainly was, but that it's so offensive by today's standards that there was no way it could be packaged/couched or otherwise excused. That was the issue. Could there be enough disclosure about time and context to make viewing it palatable. The answer was no

Again,true or not I'm not sure, but I think it accurately describes most people's reaction to the film.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, June 30, 2017 8:18 PM
Friday, June 30, 2017 8:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Now I kinda want to see Song Of The South. Does that make me horrible?

Honestly never really paid attention, but some quick searches and purusing left mu head spinning pretty quickly and proved to me that one man's treasure is another's trash. You can literally find any argument for or against the movie from every angle with little effort.

The movie is set just after the Civil War and was made in 1946. It's now 2017. It just struck me as interesting that the movie represents about the halfway point between the Civil War/movie setting and today. There's some weird perspective in that, I think.

I wonder if the Whoopi story is true or derivative of the opening commentary she did for the Looney Tunes releases?

Friday, June 30, 2017 8:57 PM

I wish I knew if it were true. It's been told to me by Disney people (not dippin dots people) but even they admitted it was second hand. They would be in positions to have heard it from the source though.

Friday, June 30, 2017 10:23 PM
Jeff's avatar

TheMillenniumRider said:
Unfortunate that we continue to butcher a classic ride.

What you call butchering is I think just something that runs counter to your own nostalgia. My 7-year-old doesn't know or care about a time before the Depp-o-bots were added. He enjoys it and thinks the cats are funny.

The narrative summaries of South do suggest that it painted slavery as no big deal. Art is weird like that, as cultural expectations change. I recently watched Bring It On for the first time in years ("You're a cheer-tater Torrence!"), and I cringed a little when one of the characters referred to something as "gay," in the most negative way contextually possible. I'm not sure that I would describe it as offensive now, but it would definitely be "tone deaf."

Maybe that's what it is. It's not a matter of being offensive, it's more about respecting people around you, in the way that you probably don't drop F-bombs around your grandmother. That's not being a sissy, it's just not being an asshole.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Friday, June 30, 2017 10:46 PM

It's "funny" that in the original "butchering" of the ride they eliminated the pirates chasing the wenches scenes but then left the "selling into the sex trade" portion. Odd what was seen as problematic and ok just within the last 20 years. I would have thought that the offensiveness of the auction scenes would cause more of an outcry than the scenes of pirates chasing women, to then be reversed with a woman chasing a pirate. I honestly hate to see the scene changed, from an "it's iconic" and somewhat humorous display, as the brazen redhead is actually being a tramp about it and being quite slutty, and playing up to the crowd, (thus the "We wants the redhead" chant from the bidders).

Yeah in retrospect in 2017 that just doesn't work anymore.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, June 30, 2017 10:47 PM
Friday, June 30, 2017 10:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

Art is weird like that, as cultural expectations change.

Which is exactly why I think a thing created should stand unchanged. It's a statement from a place and time. That's not always going to be a nice comfortable bubble...and I think that's generally a good thing.

With that said, I don't think the Pirates ride qualifies. It's commerce. Disney HAS to be sensitive in this way, for better or worse. I doubt there's any real cultural loss in Disney wanting to be sure to sell overpriced tickets well into the future by modifying one scene on one attraction.

The irony of Song Of The South is that it's an important, award winning performance by an African-American that pushed boundaries because of the very racism the movie apparently exhibits. In digging around I'm seeing a lot of arguments FOR releasing the movie for that very reason...that somehow it's worse to bury this important black achievement than to release something of more than questionable tone for current sensibilities.

No opinion either way in this case, but there's always a counterargument. I think that in general, I would tend to prefer to err on the side of preservation (or lack of overcaution) because something out of its place and time is, at worst, "tone deaf" in different times. I'm not sure something can be offensive after the fact. Cringeworthy. Tone deaf. Dated. Horrible. Stupid. Whatever. But not offensive. It wasn't considered offensive at the time. There was no ill will or intent for the people of the future. It stands locked in time...and that has value, I think.

I dunno.

Friday, June 30, 2017 11:08 PM
kpjb's avatar

Now I have "Zip a dee doo dah" stuck in my head.



Saturday, July 1, 2017 1:29 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
. It wasn't considered offensive at the time. There was no ill will.......

Not offensive to the white power structure at the time, but I would imagine it might have been perceived differently by African Americans, even in its time.

People who would have been thrilled to see accurate portrayals of their world on the big screen instead of housekeepers and janitors, mammies or happy slaves.

Not sure I'm buying the "no ill will" part, because as with most opppressed peoples, the oppressors never think what they're doing is ill will, it's just status quo.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Saturday, July 1, 2017 1:49 AM
Saturday, July 1, 2017 2:16 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

You took me completely out of context and skewed the point.

"There was no ill will or intent for the people of the future." - meaning changing sensibilities don't change past intent.

However, the point you made isn't wrong either. Although, I'd still argue intent.

Is ignorance or inconsideration the same as oppression?

And that perceived oppression is exactly the sort of argument I was seeing for releasing the wonderful performance given by James Baskett. Is it more 'oppressive' to revist an embarassing, offensive time in our history or to never let the first ever Academy Award winning performance by a black man never see the light of day because of those perceived offenses due to modern sensibilities?

Saturday, July 1, 2017 2:21 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

[Shudders in fear of addressing Lord Gonchar.....]

Lord Gonchar said:

Which is exactly why I think a thing created should stand unchanged. It's a statement from a place and time. That's not always going to be a nice comfortable bubble...and I think that's generally a good thing.

Yes ... And no.

There are those that believe Gone With The Wind should be cleaned up, removing the racism, but the book is a product of a certain time and place. Removing the overt racism means the book doesn't reflect that certain time and place, and could take it into a Song Of The South area, where slavery is presented as an okay thing.

With that said, I don't think the Pirates ride qualifies. It's commerce.

What he said.

The irony of Song Of The South is that it's an important, award winning performance by an African-American that pushed boundaries because of the very racism the movie apparently exhibits.

I've seen the movie, and I do get that the company would not want to release the movie in the U.S., where America's history with racism would likely create issues. Other countries, that, for one thing, haven't fought a war over racism, don't have to face the those issues.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Saturday, July 1, 2017 10:59 AM
Jeff's avatar

I think Gonch was already making that point though, that in this case, a theme park attraction will and should adapt. A film is definitely a time capsule of sorts. Song of The South probably is offensive, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be seen. (There is of course the morality of the company making money from something that offensive, but that's a different problem.) I think that uncomfortable art can teach us something.

Theme park attractions though, apart from cultural sensibilities, change. I've never understood the freak theme park fans that expect stuff to last forever, unchanged.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense


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