A widely circulated video of the Port Neches-Groves High School “Indianettes” from Texas shows the team dancing and chanting “scalp ’em Indians, scalp ’em” while performing moves that appear to appropriate Native American culture in a parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.
“The live performance in our park did not reflect our core values, and we regret it took place,” Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler said in a statement. “It was not consistent with the audition tape the school provided and we have immediately put measures in place so this is not repeated.”
Tara Houska, an Ojibwe tribal attorney and advocate, tweeted the video.
“Shame on @DisneyParks hosting this,” Houska wrote. “Nostalgic racism is RACISM.”
In a statement to KFDM, a spokesperson from the school said the team had performed the routine at Disney before with no issue.
“This is our eighth time at Disney,” the spokesperson said. “They don’t ask what you’re going to do as far as a performance. It’s just contest video and they see the uniforms. They asked for nothing else. This is the same performance we’ve done all eight times.”
Port Neches-Groves High School has previously faced calls to change its mascot, which is listed on its website as “Indians,” and depicted by a Native American man in a feathered headdress.
The Cherokee Nation said it has reached out to the school district and board in the past several years “asking them to cease using this offensive imagery, chanting, symbolism and other practices in their school traditions,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said Friday in a statement addressing the recent performance in Orlando.
The online reaction to the parade follows a controversial week for Disney.
It’s unknown how many employees are taking part, but Disney’s LGBTQ+ employee resource groups are not involved, a source familiar with the matter told CNN earlier this week.
— CNN Business’ Frank Pallotta contributed to this story.