With Halloween approaching, we knew it was only a matter of time before racist costumes hit the shelves. Still, people thought Disney would know better than to use brownface. But some are arguing that's what they did with a costume for Maui, a Polynesian demigod in Moana. The suit is meant to portray the character, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and contains a darker skin complexion with tattoos, Buzzfeed reports. Disney advertises this part as "allover Maui body tattoo screen art." Many people are saying the costume involves cultural appropriation. Others are uncomfortable with the use of brown skin in particular.
Some who were hopeful that Moana could provide visibility to Pacific Islanders are now disappointed.
People have also criticized Disney over the character's size, accusing them of encouraging a stereotype that Polynesians are obese. Since it includes Disney's first Pacific Islander princess, Moana has the potential to make a positive impact. Let's hope Disney does a better job with the movie than the costume.