Barney's Disney Ad Causes Protest!

Remember our post on the High Fashion Makeover of the beloved Disney Characters? Well others have started to raise questions about the ad as well. According to Mike Krumboltz of Yahoo Movie Talk, High-end fashion retailer Barney’s of New York is planning a holiday ad campaign that features Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. At least, we think it’s Minnie — in the Barney’s version, the Disney icon resembles a well-dressed stick. The ad promotion, called Electric Holiday, centers around a Minnie Mouse dream sequence in which she fantasizes about what it would be like for she and her friends to be fashion models. All of that would be pretty standard had Minnie not imagined herself as being thinner than Olive Oyl.Women’s Wear Daily reports that the decision to make Minnie and company skinny was seen as necessary by Barney’s executives. Creative director Dennis Freedman said, “When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion. The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.”
There is also a petition on that has 130,00o+ signatures. Nidia Tatalovich, a spokesperson for Disney, sent us a joint statement on behalf of Barney’s New York and The Walt Disney Company: “We are saddened that activists have repeatedly tried to distort a light hearted holiday promotion in order to draw media attention to themselves. They have deliberately ignored previously released information which clearly states this one-time promotion focuses on a three minute ‘moving art’ video showcasing traditional Minnie Mouse in a dreamlike sequence where she goes to Paris, dreams of briefly walking the runway as a model, and then awakens as her normal self happily wearing the same designer dress from the fashion show.”
Tatalovich also explained that the thin Minnie appears only as part of video clip and not part of the window display. “The only place these interpretive versions of the Disney characters make an appearance is in the 3-minute moving art video and only briefly in a 7-second sequence.” Tatalovich added, “At the end of the video, Minnie appears in her regular classic form wearing the same designer Lanvin dress that was in the dream sequence.”

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 Autumn / Winter 2020

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