Dear Godfather Iger, D23 Staff and all others concerned:
I write to you today concerning the 1946 film Song of the South.
It's time for you all to come clean.
As you know, there has been, for many years, a large group of dedicated Disney fans who have clamored for Song of the South to be released on DVD and blu-ray. Yet, for some unknown reason, when pressed as to why Song of the South has not been released, representatives of the Walt Disney Company have sidestepped the issue. They say "today's audiences just wouldn't understand the historical concept of the film" or "it's considered racially insensitive for today".
The D23 membership is dedicated to the enjoyment, and in some cases, the preservation of the legacy of the Walt Disney Company. The D23 membership is also fully aware of the historical context of Song of the South. I do not understand why the Walt Disney Company considers Song of the South to be such a pariah. The Company has released the World War II Disney-produced short cartoons that featured caricatures of Axis power leaders, which viewed today, are highly racist and prejudicial. The DVD releases of these films included a disclaimer that placed them in their proper context. Why have these shorts been released, and not Song of the South?
Itís sad, and really inexcusable, the way that the Walt Disney Company has exploited the performances of James Baskett and the other Song of the Southcast for its own gain. The characters and music were adapted for the Splash Mountain attraction, yet the film itself has quietly been disowned and buried since its last theatrical release nearly 25 years ago.
D23 is supposedly "the official community for Disney fans". So why cannot Song of the South become an exclusive video for D23 members? The members of D23 can appreciate Song of the South for what it is: an important and majestic part of the Disney legacy. So I ask you, please restore Song of the South to the same standard that other Disney animated films have received, and release it on DVD and Blu-ray. The way the film has been treated in past years is a shameful act of dishonesty on your part. It's time to correct that.