THEY were features of many a bedtime story and sparkled on screen in Disney classics for generations, but Disney is distancing itself rom the term ‘fairy godmothers’.


Fairy godmothers…

…were kind and sweet on Disney’s silver screens. Perhaps the best remembered is the character who is kind toward downtrodden Cinderella in the 1950 animated Disney film. Portraying a Fairy Godmother who producers described as the "physical embodiment of hope" in the movie, she was a kindly fairy who devoted herself to making dreams come true for pure-hearted souls.


More recently?

Bridget Jones's Diary director, Sharon Maguire, helmed Disney's 2020 film, Godmothered, about a "fairy godmother-in-training”.



The entertainment giant has announced it is ditching the term 'fairy godmother' to be replaced by gender-neutral titles at its theme parks in a change that comes into effect next month, when the salons at Disneyland and Disney World reopen after long-term pandemic-induced closures.


At the parks?

Specifically at its ‘Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique dress-up salons at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, where children - aged 3 to 12 - are given makeovers to dress up like characters from Disney movies. The term ‘fairy godmothers in training’ for staff who help them will now be changed to ‘fairy godmother apprentices’. In a press release, Disney said: “This way, cast members that might not identify as female can still be part of the process to dress up and style the children without having to refer to themselves as a female Disney character.”


It comes as?

Disney has been increasingly accused of going ‘woke’ due to a variety of moves, including changing traditional ‘ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!’ Greetings at its theme parks to greetings to “everyone and dreamers of all ages”, in order to create "that magical moment" for children who do not identify with traditional gender roles, replacing greetings with “Hello everyone” or “Hello friends”.



US investigative reporter Christopher Rufo reported on Disney staff training documents, “Reimagine Tomorrow”, which revealed the company asked their white staff to 'decolonize their bookshelves’ and 'take ownership of educating yourself about structural anti-black racism'. A series of leaks from a meeting on the “Reimagine Tomorrow” strategy in April also revealed a pledge that “50 per cent of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from under-represented groups” moving forward.


What has the reaction been?

Online, comments include “Hold up...I was reliably informed the only genuinely inclusive language is 'fairy god birthing person'", while another tweeter wrote: "Now ditch the mouse, duck and dog character too for those who don't identify as animals!”