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Brits Tell Kids NOT to Watch “Racist” Disney Classic Mary Poppins

Now it’s Mary Poppins who has run afoul of the “sensitivity police.” She’s joined British children’s author Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, and mystery writer Agatha Christie.

The classic Disney film “Mary Poppins” has had its age rating raised from U (for Universal, the British equivalent of G) to PG, which means children under the age of 15 should not watch the Julie Andrews/Dick Van Dyke classic without the supervision of an adult.

The reason? The British Board of Film Classification says it is “unsuitable for young children” because it includes two uses of the “discriminatory” word “Hottentots,” a term describing Africans that is used by a character in the film.

The word was created by Dutch settlers near Cape Town and was probably in imitation of the language of the Khoikhoi tribe. Britain’s Daily Mail says that “over time it came to be regarded as a derogatory and offensive term.”

We suspect almost no children — or even adults — are today familiar with the archaic term. The board agrees the term wasn’t offensive in the period in which Mary Poppins is set, but the fact that the word isn’t immediately condemned in the film means children have to be protected from it.

Last year, Stephen Spielberg came out unequivocally against such nonsense when he attacked “sensitivity experts” who try to change classics. The 76-year-old director said “For me, it is sacrosanct. It’s our history, it’s our cultural heritage. I do not believe in censorship in that way.”

He’s right, of course. And for those who don’t want kids to watch Mary Poppins, we say: Go fly a kite!

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