When NBC broadcasts its live version of “Peter Pan” Dec. 4, some of the song lyrics will have been replaced after the network determined that the original lyrics might be offensive, reports the U.K. publication The Daily Mail.
The production will include a version of the song “Ugg-a-Wugg,” the story reports. But the lyrics to the song have been changed, replacing made-up words that are described as “Native American-sounding” with nursery rhymes.
The move comes after the original words were thought to be offensive to Native Americans, the report notes.
“The original number, performed by Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, featured lines including ‘the brave noble red skin’ and made-up words including ‘ugg-a-wugg’ and ‘gugg-a-bluck wa-hoo,'” The Daily Mail reports. “In its place, the team behind the show, which stars Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as Hook, have devised a song called ‘True Blood Brothers.'”
Entertainment Weekly notes that the production hired Broadway veteran Amanda Green, the daughter of Adolph Green, one of the original lyricists on “Peter Pan,” to do an update on the lyrics for the new production. Exec producer Neil Meron told the publication: “It fleshed out the show. It deepened the characters, it kind of drove plot more — which good songs do in musicals. Amanda was just wonderful in capturing the spirit of her father and [Green’s partner] Betty Comden.”
Meron is also quoted in EW saying: “Amanda has consulted with our Native American consultant [Jerod Tate], just in terms of replacing ‘Ugg-a-Wugg’ with something more traditionally Native American — which has been approved by them and the rights holders. Now and forever, this will hopefully be the version [in the show].”
Allison Williams and Christopher Walken in “Peter Pan Live” (Nino Munoz, NBC)