HONOLULU — Disney has withdrawn a children’s costume promoting its upcoming film “Moana” after accusations of cultural appropriation.
The costume, a full-body suit with brown skin, traditional tattoos, grass skirt and bone necklace, represents the character Maui, considered a demi-god and ancestor by many Polynesians.
Activists said it mocks the culture by creating stereotypes.
Disney’s online store had offered boy’s pajamas and a men’s T-shirt in a similar design but they are no longer available.
Disney said it regretted any offense.
“The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some,” it said in a statement.
Chelsie Haunani Fairchild, a native Hawaiian college student, said it’s off-putting to have a child wear the skin of another race.
“Polyface is Disney’s new version of blackface. Let’s call it like it is, people,” Fairchild said in a video she posted on Facebook.
“Moana” is scheduled to be released in November.