Disney Pulls Controversial ‘Moana’ Costume After Cultural Insensitivity Claims

“Dear Disney, our brown skin is not a costume … Sincerely, a furious brown skinned Pacific Islander,” one Twitter user had said about the costume

Disney pulls Moana costume

Disney has pulled a controversial “Moana” costume after many consumers complained of cultural insensitivity on social media.

A Disney spokesperson told TheWrap, “The team behind ‘Moana’ has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some. We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores.”

The costume is patterned after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character in the upcoming animated film, which follows a Polynesian God named Maui. His grass skirt and traditional tattoos were adapted to the costume, prompting many to blast the company for promoting brownface and not respecting the tattoos that are sacred in Polynesian culture.


The Disney film tells the story of Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho), a young girl who wants to prove to her people that she can be a master wayfinder. She sets out with Maui on a quest for a mystical island and to find herself.

The cast also features the voices of Alan Tudyk and Phillipa Soo. Ron Clements and John Musker co-directed. They also worked on the screenplay along with Taika Waititi, Jared Bush and Pamela Ribbon. John Lasseter executive produced with Osnat Shurer producing.

“Moana” sails into theaters on Nov. 23.