Video of 'Racist' Routine That Spurred Disney World Apology Gets 1.2M Views

A video of a "racist" parade routine performed by a Texas high school at Walt Disney World this week has been viewed more than 1.2 million times on social media.

The video, first posted to Twitter by attorney Tara Houska, shows cheerleaders called the "Indianettes" from the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District marching down Magic Kingdom's Main Street U.S.A. while performing chants that included "Scalp 'em, Indians, scalp 'em" on March 15. In the video, the cheerleaders can also be seen dressed in fringed outfits while dancing similarly to moves that are often depicted in Native American cultures.

"Cuz a bunch of kids in fringe chanting "scalp 'em Indians, scalp 'em" is honor, right?" Houska asked. "And any Natives who attend @pngisd should prolly just accept their classmates dehumanizing them cuz "tradition", right? Shame on @DisneyParks hosting this. Nostalgic racism is RACISM."

Others on social media also condemned the performance, saying it promoted false racial stereotypes about Native Americans.

Television writer Kelly Lynne D'Angelo called out the fact that "99 percent of the people sharing their outrage about this are Native people."

"Because the thing is: our ways were right and always have been. We know how to make bounty on this earth. How to live EASILY. Our relational practices with each other and the earth are a FUNDAMENTAL CORE to a healthy and harmonious human experience," she tweeted. "Stop this and grow up."

The attorney also pointed out that the group was not wearing fake Native American headdresses, which they are seen wearing in several videos of their performances that have surfaced online amid the criticism.

Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler wrote in a statement to Newsweek on Saturday that the performance "was not consistent with the audition tape the school provided," adding that the company put in measures to ensure the situation doesn't happen again.

"The live performance in our park did not reflect our core values, and we regret it took place," she said.

The controversy follows another wave of criticism the company faced for donating to Florida lawmakers who voted to pass the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which, in part, banned instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity "in a way that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate."

Supporters of the bill say it will strengthen parental rights and ensure children are not taught about sex-related topics at a young age. LGBTQ+ advocates, however, pointed to the bill's broad language that says teachers could be punished for discussing any topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Disney ultimately halted all political donations in Florida, home to their largest resort, due to the backlash.

The company has also long faced accusations of racism within their parks, prompting changes within the past few years.

The Jungle Cruise, a staple in Disney parks across the world, was updated last year after facing criticism for negative depictions of Native people. Splash Mountain, based on the film Song of the South that is widely considered racist, is also set to get a revamp to instead feature the story from the film Princess and the Frog.

Newsweek also reached out to the school district for comment Saturday morning, but did not hear back by publication. This story will be updated with any response.

Updated 03/19/2022 12:06 p.m. ET with comment from Disney

Disney criticized for high school's parade routine
Disney faced criticism after a high school cheer group performed a chant “scalp ‘em Indians, scalp ‘em” during a Magic Kingdom parade. Above, a statue of Walt Disney is seen alongside Cinderella Castle in July 2020. Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images