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‘Lady and the Tramp’ reboot will have revamped version of that controversial Siamese cat song

Variety reported Monday that Janelle Monae will be contributing two original songs to the “Lady and Tramp” reboot and a reinvented version of “The Siamese Cat” song.
Variety reported Monday that Janelle Monae will be contributing two original songs to the “Lady and Tramp” reboot and a reinvented version of “The Siamese Cat” song.
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SALT LAKE CITY— ”Lady and the Tramp” is joining the packed lineup of Disney reboots, but it’s going to sound a little different from the original film.

Variety reported Monday that Janelle Monae will be contributing two original songs to the “Lady and Tramp” reboot and a reinvented version of “The Siamese Cat” song.

Recorded by Peggy Lee in 1955, “The Siamese Cat Song” plays in the original “Lady and the Tramp” film during the scene where Lady meets the cats Si and Am. The moment is frequently criticized for the way it depicts Asian culture and the cats have been called some of the most racist Disney characters in the studio’s history.

“Aside from their heavily minstrelized rendering (both have buck teeth, thick accents and narrow eyes), their song ... features choreography in which the two wreak sly havoc in a house, and try killing a bird and a fish,” Mic.com wrote of the cats.

“Similar stereotypes were used to reinforce fear of the so-called yellow peril in the late 19th century. Specifically, the notion that sneaky East Asians posed a mortal danger to the rest of the world led to strict fierce anti-immigration policies to keep them out of the United States.”

Monae’s team will be retooling the song for the film.

The “Lady and the Tramp” reboot will take place in the 1910s and have a blues-ragtime vibe, according to Variety, with Monae’s personal sound represented. It’s also possible that Monae’s team will do a version of “He’s a Tramp.”

Monae will voice Peg, one of the dogs Lady meets when she’s taken to the dog pound. Tessa Thompson will be playing Lady and Justin Theroux will play Tramp, according to Variety.

The film is expected to debut on the Disney Plus streaming service next year.