SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Thousands have signed a petition that is calling on Disney to let go of its trademark on the phrase “Hakuna Matata,” calling it cultural appropriation of the Swahili language.
The phrase, translated to “No problem” or “No worries,” became famous after the 1994 film “The Lion King.”
Although Disney applied for the trademark in 1994 and was approved in 2003, an activist from Zimbabwe says that a culture’s language can/should not be patented.
The Change.org petition, which so far has been signed by more than 37,000 people, is asking Disney to release the trademark on “Hakuna matata.”
“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.”
The petition comes to light after “The Lion King’s” due to the recent announcement of its live-action remake.