M/cloudy
65°
M/cloudy
Hi 70° | Lo 42°

Social media raises concern about Disney trademark

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Day' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Day' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Day' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
  • In this May 8, 2013 photo, artwork is shown at Masks y Mas, an Albuquerque shop that sells 'Day of the Dead' art year round. Disney announced Tuesday that it was a withdrawing a "Dia de los Muertos" trademark request it made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office amid uproar on social media from Latino activists, writer and artists. Disney had sought to secure naming right for an upcoming animated movie inspired by the holiday. Critics said the move to trademark a cultural holiday was insensitive.  (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

When Lalo Alcaraz learned this week that Disney was seeking to trademark “Dia de los Muertos,” the name of the traditional “Day of the Dead” celebrated by millions in Mexico and the United States, the cartoonist had an idea.

The trademark was for an animated movie by Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Inc. that is inspired by the holiday.

The Los Angeles-based humorist created a movie poster that quickly went viral of a skeletal Godzilla-sized Mickey Mouse, with the words: “It’s coming to trademark your cultura (culture).”

Anger and ridicule expressed on social media largely by Latinos began circulating. On Tuesday, Disney said it was no longer seeking a “Dia de los Muertos” trademark request because the film’s name will change before its release.

“Disney’s trademark filing was intended to protect any potential title for our film and related activities,” a company statement said. “It has since been determined that the title of the film will change.”

Disney has not said that social media responses were responsible for the withdrawn trademark request.

The company did not immediately return a phone call from the Associated Press.

Whatever the reason, the episode showed how quickly reactions to even the smallest corporate move can spread online and lead to calls for boycotts.

Critics said they were concerned about the company attempt to trademark a cultural holiday like November’s Day of the Dead and its history of trying to profit from cultural icons.

“This is a corporation that has consistently co-opted culture for profit,” said Andrea Quijada, executive director of the Albuquerque-based Media Literacy Project, a group that focuses on media literacy and policy.

“Just look at Pocahontas, Mulan, Jasmine,” Quijada said, referring to characters from Disney films.

Not only was the move seen as insensitive, critics said, trademarking the popular holiday put thousands of businesses that made products linked to the day at risk. Disney had hoped to secure the naming rights for merchandise such as snack foods and Christmas ornaments.

“It’s a terrible idea. I’m outraged,” said Kiko Torres, owner of Masks y Mas in Albuquerque, a shop that sells Day of the Dead art and clothing year-round. “I mean, what’s the purpose of that?”

Lois Zamora, a University of Houston English professor who has studied the Day of the Dead, said Disney’s interest shows how much this once obscure holiday has grown in the U.S.

But she said the trademark attempt was odd.

“Disney doesn’t quite get it,” Zamora said. “It would be like copyrighting ‘Christmas’ or ‘Easter’ or, for that matter, ‘Halloween.’ ”

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.