uggs childrens NBC’s Peter Pan changes offensive ‘Ugg
NBC has changed the lyrics of the song ‘Ugg a Wugg’ for its live show of Peter Pan after the words were deemed to be offensive to Native Americans.
The original number, performed by Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, featured lines including ‘the brave noble red skin’ and made up words including ‘ugg a wugg’ and ‘gugg a bluck wa hoo’.
In its place, the team behind the show, which stars Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as Hook, have devised a song called ‘True Blood Brothers’.
The lyrics, which are performed by a group in Native American costumes, were changed after it was deemed that they encourage stereotypes.
Updated: Some songs in Peter Pan Live, which will star Allison Williams (left) as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken (right) as Captain Hook, have been changed, including one that’s offensive to Native Americans
Entertainment Weekly, who spoke to the show’s lyricists, reported that the team have a Native American consultant, Jerod Tate, who helped create something ‘traditionally Native American’.
Lyricist Amanda Green told EW that the process involved ‘stripping it down and taking out things that were silly in the day it was written and offensive today’.
Ugg a Wugg has long been a controversial part of the show.
In 1994, a small middle school in Southampton, New York made national headlines when it canceled its production of Peter Pan over the portrayal of Native Americans, the New York Times reported.
Administrators said it was offensive tomembers of the Shinnecock tribe, whose reservation borders the town and whose children made up about nine percent of the district’s student body at the time.
‘We wouldn’t do “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in a school,’ said Sherry Blakey Smith, a Cree Ojibwa Indian and then a teacher at the school. ‘For Native Americans, Peter Pan’s scene with the Indians is very much like that. We don’t have pickaninny warriors.’
NBC’s production of Peter Pan will broadcast live on December 4. On Monday, the network released a teaser of the production that showed Williams singing and flying.
Flying high: NBC released a teaser trailer showing Williams singing, flying and invading the pirate ship
Traditionally, a woman has played the titlular role in all musical versions, hence the casting of Williams best known for playing Marnie in ‘Girls’ in the part of Peter Pan.
Amanda Green, who is the daughter of one of the show’s original lyricists, Adolph Green, also worked on other new songs using melodies from other musicals.
‘It fleshed out the show,’ executive producer Neil Meron told EW. ‘It deepened the characters, it kind of drove plot more which good songs do in musicals.’
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