Thanks to a wave of online backlash, Disney is withdrawing its application to trademark the term Dia de los Muertos — otherwise known as the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.
The trademark filing was done in advance of an upcoming animated film release by Disney-owned Pixar based on the cultural celebration in which people gather to remember and honour their ancestors. Dia de los Muertos is a national holiday in Mexico and is also observed in other parts of Latin America and by Mexican communities around the world.
Disney apparently sought ownership over the phrase for merchandising purposes. According to The Guardian, “Disney wanted exclusive domain for goods including ‘fruit-based snack foods’, ‘Christmas-tree ornaments and decorations’, ‘decorative magnets’, ‘non-medicated toiletries’ and ‘frozen meals consisting primarily of pasta or rice’, as well as for education and entertainment purposes.”
Photo by Carmichael Library.