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Disney Releases Statement After Texas High School’s Performance at Magic Kingdom Sparks Anger 

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Walt Disney World has said it “regrets” a recent performance by a Texas high school drill team at the Magic Kingdom which prompted anger and backlash. 

The Port Neches-Groves High School marching band and drill team from Texas performed at the Magic Kingdom earlier this week. 

As the band played the school’s fight song called Cherokee, the drill team known as the Indianettes chanted the lyrics, which includes “scalp’em, Indians, scalp ‘em.”

Video of the school’s performance was posted on Twitter by tribal attorney Tara Houska, who referred to the performance as “nostalgic racism.” You can watch a clip of the performance in the videos below: 

In a statement, Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler said that measures were put in place following the performance/incident. You can read the released statement in full below: 

“We regret this performance took place as it did not reflect the audition tape that was submitted. We have immediately put measures in place to ensure performances reflect the auditions.” 

Jacquee Wahler, Disney spokesperson

What measures were implemented following the performance/incident is unknown at this time. 

Normally, schools have to submit an audition before being allowed to perform at Walt Disney World. According to Disney, the chant by the PNG drill team was not part of their audition. 

This isn’t the first time the school’s drill team has performed at the Magic Kingdom. Before this week, the team performed at the park back in 2020. During that performance, students wore Indian headdresses, as the photos below show. The headdresses seen below were not allowed during this week’s performance. 

Port Neches-Groves has been criticised in the past for its “Indian Spirit” mascot, which some have called culturally insensitive and offensive. 

“Port Niches-Groves Independent School District continues to use offensive and stereotypical depiction of our tribe, and this is yet again exampled by their cheer team recently in Orlando,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement released today. 

“For the past couple of years, we have written to the Port Neches superintendent and school board asking them to cease using this offensive imagery, chanting, symbolism and other practices in their school traditions as this does nothing but dishonour us and all Native American tribes who are making great strides in this country,” Hoskin Jr added. 

Stay tuned for further updates on this particularly sensitive story. 

Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for more Orlando theme park-related news and information.

H/T Spectrum News 13

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