Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Disney will rebrand the popular ride Splash Mountain at its theme parks in Florida and California because of its connection to the racist 1946 film, "Song of the South," the company announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It comes amid a nationwide cultural shift, which has seen governments, companies and individuals around the country rethink names and symbols with links to racism.

  • "Song of the South" uses racist stereotypes to depict the Reconstruction Era.
  • The ride will now be themed after the 2009 film "The Princess and the Frog," the first Disney animated movie to feature a Black princess.

What they're saying:

"We continually evaluate opportunities to enhance and elevate experiences for our guests. It's important that our guests be able to see themselves in the experiences we create. Because we consider ourselves constant learners, we go to great lengths to research and engage cultural advisors and other experts to help guide us along the way. I am incredibly proud to see this work continue forward with great leadership from across Disney."
— Carmen Smith, a creative development and inclusive strategies executive at Walt Disney Imagineering

The big picture, via Axios' Sara Fischer: Media companies are under a lot of pressure over not just what they decide to cut, but also what they decide to leave up.

  • HBO Max, the streaming service from AT&T, temporarily removed "Gone with the Wind" from its library earlier this month.
  • Last week, it said it would bring back the film with a newly added introduction by Black scholar and Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart that addresses its "historical context."

Go deeper

Sep 8, 2020 - World

Study: Hollywood casts more light-skinned actors for Chinese market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An academic study has found that since 2012, when the Chinese government began allowing more foreign films into the country, Hollywood movies have cast more light-skinned actors in starring roles.

Key takeaway: The researchers concluded U.S. film studios were casting to fulfill the aesthetic preferences of Chinese movie-goers, in a culture that places a premium on light skin — a phenomenon known as colorism.

Bill Clinton slams McConnell and Trump: "Their first value is power"

Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) vow to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat before the next presidential inauguration "superficially hypocritical."

The big picture: Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, declined to say whether he thinks Democrats should respond by adding more justices if they take back the Senate and the White House in November. Instead, he called on Republicans to "remember the example Abraham Lincoln set" by not confirming a justice in an election year.

Pelosi: Trump wants to "crush" ACA with Ginsburg replacement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that President Trump is rushing to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he "wants to crush the Affordable Care Act."

Why it matters: Pelosi wants to steer the conversation around the potential Ginsburg replacement to health care, which polls show is a top issue for voters, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration has urged the courts to strike down the law, and with it, protections for millions with pre-existing conditions.