Disney accused of cultural appropriation for patent on Swahili phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’ from ‘The Lion King’


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A petition calling for Disney to launch its trademark on the phrases “Hakuna Matata” has attracted greater than 35,000 signatures from individuals calling it cultural appropriation of the Swahili language.

The phrase, which interprets to “No downside” or “no worries,” was made widespread by the 1994 movie “The Lion King” and has since re-emerged as a result of upcoming live-action remake of the immensely widespread youngsters’s musical. Though Disney utilized for the trademark in 1994 and was accredited in 2003, an activist from Zimbabwe is arguing tradition’s language can and shouldn’t be patented.

Shelton  Mpala launched the Change.org petition calling for Disney to launch the trademark it has on “Hakuna Matata” likening it to “colonialism” and “theft.”

“The appropriation of one thing you don’t have any proper over. Think about, “If we had been to go that route, then we owe the British royalties for everybody who speaks English, or France for after we communicate French,” the petition reads. “Be a part of us and say NO to DISNEY or any firms/people seeking to trademark languages, phrases or phrases they did not invent.”

As of this writing, the petition has garnered greater than 37,600 signatures and continues to develop.

In late November 2018, Disney launched the primary trailer for its live-action remake of the traditional story, which sees a younger prince lion go into exile after the homicide of his father. He returns solely when he finds out his murderous uncle, Scar, has led his father’s kingdom to spoil.

Since its debut in 1994, “The Lion King” has turn into an extremely widespread enterprise for Disney, which features a hit Broadway play, toys and clothes, video games and several other movie sequels and spinoffs.

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