The depiction of a Polynesian character in a Disney film has prompted anger across the Pacific islands, with one New Zealand MP saying the portrayal of the god Maui as obese was “not acceptable”.
Jenny Salesa, who is of Tongan heritage, shared a picture on her Facebook account which said Disney’s rendering of Maui in the film Moana resembled a creature that was “half pig, half hippo”.
“When we look at photos of Polynesian men & women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable – No thanks to Disney,” Salesa wrote.
According to 2014 data from the World Health Organisation nine of the ten most obese nations in the world are Pacific Islands.
Samoan professional rugby player Eliota Fuimanono Sapolu also expressed his disgust at Disney’s portrayal of Maui, writing on Facebook that “Maui looking like after he fished up the Islands, he deep fried em and and ate em”. Read more