Yesterday, at an event honoring Navajo Code Talkers, President Trump made reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren, calling her Pocahontas — a nickname he began using on the 2016 campaign trail that questions the Senator’s claimed but unproven Cherokee ancestry. As The Hill notes, in a press conference later in the day, ABC reporter Jon Karl asked, “Why did he feel the need to say something that is offensive to many people while honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, these genuine American heroes?” In response, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders asserted that “Pocahontas” is not a slur, adding “I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.” This morning, Eric Trump took to Twitter to defend his father and point out what he perceives as hypocrisy, saying that he found it ironic that ABC journalists would label the name as offensive since their parent-company (Disney) made a film with that title.
The irony of an ABC reporter (whose parent company Disney has profited nearly half a billion dollars on the movie “Pocahontas”) inferring that the name is “offensive” is truly staggering to me.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) November 28, 2017
Disney’s animated classic Pocahontas was released in 1995 and took in more than $346 million at the global box office. The character has also made appearances in the Disney theme parks and on a number of merchandise items. While popular, the film has been a source of some controversy and debate, with critics questioning whether it properly captured Native American culture and if the movie’s story glossed over the treatment of the Native people. It’s also worth noting that Disney has been criticized for their portrayal of Native Americans in other films, including Peter Pan, which features the song “What Made the Red Man Red?”
This is also not the first time the Trump family has cited Disney to defend themselves from criticism. Last year, when some said that a Trump flyer using the Star of David was anti-Semitic, then-candidate Trump shared an image of a Frozen coloring book that also featured the six-pointed star. Nevertheless, President Trump is currently being added to Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents, which is supposed to open by the end of the year.