Moana Costume Pulled By Disney Over Misappropriation Accusations

In preparation for it's next film, Moana, Disney put out a collection of Halloween costumes based on the film's characters. On costume, that of the Polynesian demi-god Maui, has sparked quite the controversy. Disney has since removed the costume from stores siting claims of cultural insensitivity.

The Maui costume in question includes a dark tan bodysuit with build in padding to simulate the large build of Maui in the film, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The body suit is pined with the traditional and intricate tattoos that Maui has across his body, as well as the grass skirt the character wears. The complete ensemble also comes with a black curly wig and a shark tooth necklace.

moana costume
(Photo: Twitter / @theRoot)

Since the costume hit shelves and online stores critics have been accusing the company of "promoting brown face, or Poly face" according to E News. Many have claimed that Disney has disrespected the Pacific Islander culture and turned it into a costume. Disney also released clothing with the brown skin and tattoos of Maui on their site that have also been criticized.

"The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the fil, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some," Disney said in a statement. "We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores."

Since the controversy, there have been many comments on both ends of the spectrum – those who are offended by the costume and it's racial and cultural insensitivities, and those who claim say that it is only a costume and the only way for the characters look to be captured. No matter what side of the fence you find yourself on, hopefully this mistake on the company's part won't effect the overall film.


Moana is set to release on November 23. The movie follows an "indomitable" and "passionate" princess through the adventure of a lifetime. It promises to be the princess movie for the modern girl and those girls who really don't want to be traditional princesses.

[H/T E News]