“Hakuna matata” at center of controversy

Homepage | Forums | Main Forums | General Discussion | “Hakuna matata” at center of controversy

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #3233
      Anonymous
      Inactive
      • Total Posts: 69

      The Swahili phrase means “No worries” and was popularized in America by Disney.  Two laid-back animated characters in “The Lion King” sing a song by that name.

      Now a Zimbabwean activist is calling Disney’s use of the phrase “cultural appropriation” and has 100000 signatures on a petition to have Disney self-censor the song.

      I find this ridiculous.  Disney has the right to set a film in Africa and popularize a Swahili phrase, just like any African film studio has the right to set a film in America and popularize an American phrase.  Nothing is being stolen or devalued.   Words (like hairstyles, music, food, life philosophies, clothing, etc) are not the property of one person or one country or one continent.

      “Cultural appropriation” is generally a dumb concept.  It should only be invoked when there’s a sacred/special thing (say, a religious ritual or funeral rites) being intentionally mocked by outsiders or misconstrued in a clearly insulting way.

      (Aside:  Swahili is spoken chiefly in East Africa.  It is certainly not an indigenous language of Zimbabwe.  Why is a Zimbabwean acting like the owner/spokesman for Swahili, which is spoken on the other side of his continent?)

    • #3291
      HassleCat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,476

      This petition is just stupid, and should be ignored, but it could very well expand into a Big Issue, with politicians and celebrities weighing in.

    • #3300
      game meat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,297
      • #3309
        HassleCat
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 4,476

        Disney has trademarked the phrase, which is like trademarking “hang loose” or “have a nice day.”

        • #3382
          Anonymous
          Inactive
          • Total Posts: 69

          How can a common phrase be trademarked by a company??

          This brings to mind a plagiarism lawsuit brought by one pop star against another (sorry; I can’t remember the names).  Plaintiff complained that defendant was guilty of stealing the phrase “Playas gonna play; haters gonna hate.”  Judge ruled that the phrase deserved no protection because it was devoid of uniqueness or artistic merit, and mockingly invented similar lyrics like “joggers gonna jog” and “drivers gonna drive” to hammer home the point.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.