Disney accused of cultural appropriation for patent on Swahili phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’ from ‘The Lion King’

A petition calling for Disney to release its trademark on the words “Hakuna Matata” has attracted more than 35,000 signatures from people calling it cultural appropriation of the Swahili language. The phrase, which translates to “No problem” or “no worries,” was made popular by the 1994 film “The Lion King” and has since re-emerged due … Continue reading “Disney accused of cultural appropriation for patent on Swahili phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’ from ‘The Lion King’”

A petition calling for Disney to release its trademark on the words “Hakuna Matata” has attracted more than 35,000 signatures from people calling it cultural appropriation of the Swahili language.

The phrase, which translates to “No problem” or “no worries,” was made popular by the 1994 film “The Lion King” and has since re-emerged due to the upcoming live-action remake of the immensely popular children’s musical. Although Disney applied for the trademark in 1994 and was approved in 2003, an activist from Zimbabwe is arguing that a culture’s language can and should not be patented.

Shelton  Mpala launched the Change.org petition calling for Disney to release the trademark it has on “Hakuna Matata” likening it to “colonialism” and “robbery.”

“The appropriation of something you have no right over. Imagine, "If we were to go that route, then we owe the British royalties for everyone who speaks English, or France for when we speak French," the petition reads. “Join us and say NO to DISNEY or any corporations/individuals looking to trademark languages, terms or phrases they didn't invent.”

As of this writing, the petition has garnered more than 37,600 signatures and continues to grow.

In late November 2018, Disney released the first trailer for its live-action remake of the classic story, which sees a young prince lion go into exile after the murder of his father. He returns only when he finds out his murderous uncle, Scar, has led his father’s kingdom to ruin.

Since its debut in 1994, “The Lion King” has become an incredibly popular venture for Disney, which includes a hit Broadway play, toys and clothing, games and several film sequels and spinoffs.

Alec Baldwin tweets that Trump is ‘punishment’ for slavery, slaughtering Native Americans

Alec Baldwin's severe disdain for President Donald Trump hasn't waned one bit.

The actor, who frequently spoofs Trump on "Saturday Night Live," claimed in an incendiary tweet this weekend that the POTUS is "punishment" for a variety of American sins.

"Trump is a curse, brought down on us as punishment 4 our sins. The slaughter of Native Americans, slavery, Japanese internment, Vietnam. Every hateful, misogynistic, racist notion, intertwined w our better nature, Trump embodies those. He is us. Now we can face it + exorcise it," he wrote.


He added, "Remember that once Trump is gone, by whatever means, + is replaced by a competent/duly elected successor, it will be necessary 4 all in this country 2 offer their support 2 that man/woman. Regardless of party. The period of healing for us will be long + will require our best."

Many reactions were supportive of Baldwin's claims:

Many others, however, challenged the temperamental "30 Rock" star:

Baldwin's comments came shortly after Trump claimed that NBC and "Saturday Night Live" should be "tested in courts."

‘Modern’ Santa? Some want Father Christmas to be gender-neutral, have tattoos, survey finds

A tattooed, hoverboard-riding, beardless Santa Claus? Some respondents to a recent survey think this Christmas icon needs an upgrade.

The survey, which was conducted by logo-making company GraphicSprings in October and November, used Google surveys to gather responses from 400 people across the U.S. and U.K, asking them how they would “rebrand” or modernize the jolly fellow. From there, 4,000 people across the two countries then voted on the most popular suggestions, the company said.


About 23 percent of respondents think Santa should have an iPhone, while 25 percent said Saint Nicholas should wear sneakers or trainers. Eighteen percent said he should be “more hipster,” while 22 percent said he should ditch the sleigh and reindeer for a flying car.

And forget Santa's hard-working elves: Another 23 percent said he should use Amazon Prime instead.

As for Santa’s appearance, 20 percent of the respondents said he should have tattoos, 21 percent said he should go on a diet, while 18 percent said Santa should “get a new hairstyle.”

Roughly 11 percent said Santa should be female while about 17 percent said he should be gender neutral.

Just over 70 percent said Kris Kringle should remain male.


A breakdown of the complete survey can be found here.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Kanye West talks to, freestyles with talking tree while on a trip in Miami

Kanye West may have found his new musical sidekick, a talking tree.

On Wednesday, the 41-year-old visited the Night Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Fla., People reported, where he encountered a tree set up with a projection display that gave it a face that can move and speakers with the ability to make it seem as though it’s talking.

“What are you famous for?” the tree asks Kanye in a video posted to his Twitter.

“Everything,” West responds.

“You’re famous for everything! Let me ask you a question Kanye, it’s been plaguing my mind for a while,” the tree asks. “Do you make your Yeezys in size tree?”

West laughs before the video cuts out.

In a follow-up post by People, the two share a more musical exchange when the tree asks West if he’s ever met a beatboxing tree.

“Uh, I think I have now,” West replies.

With that, the tree lays down a beat that West begins to freestyle rap over.

“You did an excellent job Kanye. Everybody give Kanye a round of applause,” the tree concludes.

The outlet reports that West was in town to celebrate the annual Art Basel festival, which he’s attending solo as his wife, Kim Kardashian, opted not to attend. As previously reported, West used his time in the area to surprise attendees at a memorial for late rapper XXXTentacion.

William Shatner battles with fans over defense of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

Former “Star Trek” actor William Shatner has taken a hard stance on the ongoing controversy surrounding the Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to both the joy and dismay of his fans.

As previously reported, the song has been removed by some radio stations over claims that the song deals with a woman saying “no” to a man’s advances and him persisting. The 87-year-old actor took to Twitter on Tuesday to urge fans to call into CBC radio after it announced that it would remove the holiday song from the airwaves to demand they play it.

“Call in to CBC radio all day and get them to play ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ over and over until midnight!” Shatner wrote.

The former “T.J. Hooker” lead continued to engage with fans on the issue, explaining that he’s worried about the “myopic glasses” that the classic song is being viewed through in 2018.

“C’mon Bill. Isn’t there something, anything, you can find that is more important to rally for?” one user questioned.

“I would think that censorship of classics because certain “types” need to judge things through their own 2018 myopic glasses and demand they be stricken from history is important.  Or is this 1984 only 34 years too late?” the star shot back.

Fans were quick to continue to debate the highly contentious issue before Shatner chimed in again to make it clear that he actually believes what he’s saying.

He didn’t relent when confronted with CBC Music’s report that it is restoring the song to the airwaves either.

“I’d still call and request the song be played just to stick it to the Myopia Censorship Club members!” he wrote.

Shatner continued to argue with disgruntled fans noting that the original 1949 choreography for the song is more indicative of the song’s sweeter intentions.

“Have you watched the original choreography, myopic Peter or are you one of those who needs to take the lyrics & extrapolate worst case? You must clutch your pearls over rap music,” he wrote along with a video of the song being sung in the film “Neptune’s Daughter.”

He continued: “The choreography is the interpretation of the lyrics from the timeframe when it was written(1940’s.) If 2018 prudes want to interpret the lyrics as something else; the problem obviously lies in their own minds not in the original lyrics.”

It’s worth noting that, while Shatner responded to his critics, several people were on board with his call to defend the controversial song and make attempts to restore it to the radio waves.

“Way to go Bill.This PC stuff is nuts,” one user wrote.

“Let’s get em Bill!” another wrote.

When it comes to talking about Christmas music, Shatner is not speaking from an uneducated place. Earlier this year, he released his first ever Christmas album, "Shatner Claus," in which he collaborated with several other musicians to cover a slew of classic holiday songs. However, "Baby It's Cold Outside" was not one of them.

“It’s moving, and the reviews have been extraordinary and I’m very gratified by that,” Shatner told Fox News of the album. “I think people will have a wonderful evening listening to this album. It’s a really joyful celebration of Christmas.”

Radio station scraps ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ ban after listener outcry

A California radio station has reversed its decision to stop playing “Baby It's Cold Outside” over controversial lyrics in the age of the #MeToo movement after the overwhelming majority of listeners said they opposed the ban.

KOIT radio station Program Director Brian Figula said in a statement on Monday that the reversal came after hearing out thousands of listeners and concluding “that the vast majority consider the song to be a valuable part of their holiday tradition, and they still want to hear it on the radio.”

The station polled the listeners, with more than three quarters saying they oppose banning the song from the station’s daily playlist.

“KOIT's listeners have spoken, and the overwhelming message is they do want to hear 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' on our station, as they have throughout the years,” he said.

“More than seven out of every 10 listeners who responded said although some lyrics of the song may reflect a different era and a different sensibility than today, still they love the tradition and history of the song, and want to hear it as part of their holiday season,” he added.

KOIT previously purged the song on Dec. 3 after receiving “complaints” from listeners, who pointed out that the song contains troubling lyrics and may send a wrong message about consent.


In the 1944 tune, written by Frank Loesser that has been covered by many artists, a female sings: “I really can’t stay,” to which a man responds: “But baby, it’s cold outside.”

In another part of a song, a woman is heard singing lines like “Say what's in this drink?”, “The answer is no” and “I've gotta get home.”

The station’s initial move to scrap the song came after Cleveland station WDOK removed the tune after one listener called in and suggested that it’s not appropriate to play the 1940s classic in 2018.

“It wasn't really our decision,” WDOK host Desiray told Fox 8. “It's the decision of our listeners.”


KOSI 101 in Denver also temporarily scrapped the song, but listeners overwhelmingly voted against the plan to permanently ban the song. The station said that the poll, which attracted about 15,000 responses, “showed overwhelmingly that KOSI 101.1 listeners were in favor of the holiday classic returning to the air.”

“Respondents voted 95 percent in favor of us keeping the song as part of KOSI 101.1’s tradition of playing all of your holiday favorites,” KOSI 101.1 program director, Jim Lawson, said. “While we are sensitive to those who may be upset by some of the lyrics, the majority of our listeners have expressed their interpretation of the song to be non-offensive.”


The controversy over the song prompted Dean Martin’s daughter to announce that she will continue singing the classic in front of audiences.

Deana Martin appeared on “Fox & Friends” Monday, criticizing the attempts to ban the song, which her father so famously performed.


“I was absolutely flabbergasted,” she said. “It’s just insane. When I heard it, I said, ‘This can’t possibly be.’ You know, it’s a sweet, flirty, fun holiday song that’s been around for 40 years for my dad. He did it in ’59. But when I saw it, I tweeted, ‘I think this is crazy. What do you think?’ And then all of a sudden, it went viral.”

“I know my dad would be going insane right now,” she said of the controversy. “He would say, ‘What’s the matter with you? Get over it. It’s just a fun song.’ 'Cause he was so sweet anyway. … He was a great guy. Fun guy. Nice. And he wouldn’t want to do anything offensive. That wasn’t Dean Martin. So this has just been outrageous.”

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco, Mariah Haas and Elizabeth Zwirz contributed to this report.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.

Holderness Family’s modern take on ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ goes viral

The Holderness Family, famous for creating parody songs, took a new approach to the Christmas classic, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" after the recent fallout surrounding the lyrics from the original song.

The family's parody version, "Baby, Just GO Outside," emphasizes consent and after 20 hours, the music video has about 32 million views as of Tuesday morning.

Since the 1940s song has come under fire in the last few years for its lyrics with non-consensual implications, multiple radio stations have banned the song from their holiday playlists, according to HuffPost.

But the Holderness Family offered a modern twist to the lyrics.


The woman's voice says, "I simply must go," and instead of the man responding, "But, baby you'll freeze out there," the revised version goes, "Uber is right outside." Another line is revised to say, "My mother will start to worry. … Definitely text her right now."

Other lyrics including, "understood — no mean no" and "you're free to go," also align with the values of today's #MeToo movement.

The family's other viral hits include "Baby Got Class," a parody of the classic "Baby Got Back."

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Biggest celebrity social media blunders of 2018

Celebrities are constantly sharing their thoughts on social media, and while for the most part, it's entertaining for fans, sometimes their posts spark controversy instead.

As a result, the stars find themselves facing major backlash.

Here are the ones that had us talking throughout the year:

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian came under fire on Halloween for calling people who didn’t recognize her costume the R-word. (AP)

Kim Kardashian came under fire on Halloween for calling people who didn't recognize her costume the R-word.

On October 31st, the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star documented herself on Instagram at her sister Kendall Jenner's Halloween party asking guests if they knew who she and best friend Jonathan Cheben were dressed up as.

“Okay guys, we are Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee,” Kardashian, 38, said according to People.

“Nobody knows who we are here!" she continued. "You guys are all too f–king young. This is so sad.”

Per People, in a separate video, the KKW Beauty mogul is heard telling former assistant Stephanie Shepherd: “Nobody knows who I am. Yeah! R—-d."

Fans immediately took to Twitter to express their distaste with the reality star's remark, which prompted Kardashian to take down the video and apologize.

"I want to apologize for what I said in a recent video post that is inappropriate and insensitive to the special needs community," she said in a statement to E! News.

"I try to learn from my mistakes, and this is one of those times. Please know that my intention is always pure, and in this case, it was a mistake. I'm sorry."

Bette Midler


Bette Midler found herself in hot water in November for showing disrespect to first lady Melania Trump.

In November, the 72-year-old actress posted a picture on Twitter of Melania posing in a cockpit for a GQ photo shoot, and included a vulgar, insulting caption.

"The dry cleaning bill for the upholstery on Air Force One must be insane. #FLOTITS," Midler wrote.

Social media users immediately went on Twitter to slam the star and called on her to apologize to the first lady.

"Why are you doing this? Haven’t you had enough of bashing this poor woman? She was a model, so what. Don’t hate. You really just made a fool of yourself with such a catty comment. Did you feel better after posting this? That made you feel good? You should apologize," one Twitter user wrote.

Armie Hammer

Armie Hammer was slammed for his tweet criticizing other celebrities’ tributes to legendary Marvel superheroes creator, Stan Lee. (Getty Images)

Armie Hammer faced backlash after he criticized celebrities for their tributes to Stan Lee following the death of the legendary Marvel superheroes creator in November.

"So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee… no better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself," Hammer wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

Social media users immediately slammed Hammer for criticizing how others grieved a person’s death. Many people said the photos may have captured a good memory they had with Lee that they wanted to share publicly.

Following the backlash, Hammer issued an apology.

“While attempting to provide some unnecessary social commentary about the current selfie culture, I (in true a–hat form – thank you Jeffrey Dean Morgan) inadvertently offended many who were genuinely grieving the loss of a true icon,” the 32-year-old actor wrote.

“I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart and will be working on my Twitter impulse control.”


Roseanne Barr


In May, Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about former President Obama's aide Valerie Jarrett, stating that Jarrett, an African-American who was born in Iran, is like the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”

Barr, 66, immediately faced massive backlash, and her namesake show was canceled just hours after, with ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey saying the network would not produce the second season of the "Roseanne" reboot.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," Dungey told Fox News at the time.

In response, Barr apologized and quit Twitter.

"I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me — my joke was in bad taste," she wrote. She has since rejoined the social media site.

Patrick J. Adams

In May, actor Patrick J. Adams issued an apology after fans accused him of body shaming a woman in his social media post. (Getty)

After attending the royal wedding in May, “Suits” star and former on-screen husband of Meghan Markle, Patrick J. Adams came under fire for body shaming a woman in a social media post.

According to screenshots captured by some tabloids at the time, a woman reportedly saw Adams in a newspaper attending the wedding and chose to tell him that she found the photo of him and his wife, Troian Bellisario, “terrible” explaining that he looked “chunky.”

When she later fell asleep at the airport the 37-year-old actor posted her image, prompting fans and critics alike to accuse him of body-shaming her in retaliation for her rudeness.

After apparently mulling it over, Adams took the photo down and replaced it with an apology message on Instagram.


YouTube star PewDiePie apologized in July for posting a controversial meme, which reportedly mocked pop star Demi Lovato’s apparent overdose. (iStock)

Earlier this year, YouTube star PewDiePie apologized for a controversial meme he posted that reportedly mocked pop star Demi Lovato’s apparent overdose.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, shared a now-deleted meme in July that allegedly showed Lovato asking her mother for money to purchase a burger, but then spending the cash on heroin, CNET reported at the time.

Heroin is the drug TMZ initially reported was the cause of the singer’s alleged overdose, though a source later told Fox News that “it’s not heroin.”

"Deleted meme. I didn't mean anything with it and I didn't fully know about the situation. I realize now it was insensitive, sorry!” the YouTuber said after he received backlash from many of Lovato's fans.


Lorde was blasted by social media users in April after she posted a photo of a bathtub with Whitney Houston references. (Reuters)

Earlier this year, New Zealand pop star Lorde was slammed by social media users for using Whitney Houston lyrics as a caption for an Instagram picture she posted of a bathtub, a reference to the singer’s drowning death.

“And iiii will always love you," Lorde wrote on Instagram in April along with a photo of a luxurious bathtub. The lyrics are from one of Houston’s biggest hits — her cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”

Social media users slammed the “Royals” singer for the post, which many deemed as insensitive.

“Whitney Houston & her daughter both overdosed in bathtubs. If Lorde truly didn’t know then okay but it’s not believable,” one person wrote.

The photo along with Lorde's apology have since been taken down from her Instagram page.

Nashville airport travelers stop to sing national anthem for children of fallen service members, viral video shows

Travelers at Nashville's busy airport over the weekend stopped to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” paying their respects to a plane full of children whose parents had died in combat.

“At the Nashville airport I walked out into the concourse to this scene @americanairlines was flying a plane full of children who had lost a parent in combat to Disneyworld on an all expenses paid trip and they threw a party for them at the gate,” Jen Tringale wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

"But when they announced them over the loud speaker and they lined up to board the plane the whole airport literally stopped and sang the national anthem with military present in salute. Most every person standing around, myself included was bawling at the sight of these kids and spouses who have paid so great a price for our country. To see all of this at Christmas time was so humbling.


“Seeing the general public in an airport stand still to honor these kids was simply beautiful,” Tringale wrote.

The social media post had earned around 9,000 impressions and was shared approximately 6,100 times as of Monday evening.

Matt Richardson is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @MRichardson713.

‘One Tree Hill’ star Jana Kramer vents her frustration with body critics after giving birth

New mom Jana Kramer has had it with those criticizing her body.

“Honestly I’m so frustrated and I need to vent this,” the “One Tree Hill” star wrote on Instagram Saturday. “I wanted to post this photo (showing my stomach) because I wanted to show my journey back to healthy and my goodness I’m so glad I didn’t which is why this photo is now cropped.”

Kramer, 35, welcomed son Jace Joseph in November with husband Mike Caussin, and has since regularly shared photos on social media. However, on Friday, the actress’ post of her and Caussin in matching outfits sparked negative responses.

“No I didn’t get a tummy tuck, no I don’t have a personal chef, no I don’t have fortunes so I didn’t train everyday,” she said. “Yes I had a C-section, yes I am still in pain and on meds but I do have a high pain tolerance.”

The actress, who struggled with fertility before she got pregnant, explained her outfit from the previous post.

“In that photo I had a belly bandit wrapped tightly, and high waisted pants and wow here I am defending myself. Why?!?” she asked. “If I would have posted the photo of my actual stomach in this photo I would have probably been shamed too even when I was wanting to be vulnerable with my journey.”

She concluded her lengthy message by encouraging her followers to be kinder.

“Our bodies are all beautiful and crafted differently, they heal different. Why did we need to shame someone for looking a certain way? Or feel bad about ourselves for looking a certain way? Can we be kinder to ourselves and know that every [woman] has a different journey but that we are all beautiful.”

Kramer and Caussin are also parents to 2-year-old Jolie.

This article originally appeared in Page Six.