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Disney bosses pull Moana costume from shelves

Disney bosses have pulled a Halloween costume linked to Dwayne Johnson's new animated movie Moana after receiving complaints from offended Pacific Islanders.

The outfit, which mirrors Johnson's character Maui with a long-sleeve brown shirt and pants featuring full-body tattoos, have upset many, who insist it's akin to white people dressing up as black stars, complete with 'blackface'.

The costume, which also comes with a fake shark-tooth necklace and green-leaf skirt - like the one Maui wears in the Disney film, has been yanked from the company's stores.

"The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some," a company spokesman said in a statement.

One of those upset by the costume is Native Hawaiian college student Chelsie Haunani Fairchild, who has posted a video on Facebook, complaining about the outfit.

This isn't the first time Moana, which is set for release in November (16), has come under fire - Pacific Island activists are upset Johnson's Polynesian god character is obese, claiming it trivialises their heritage and stereotypes natives.

New Zealand politician Jenny Salesa led the criticism earlier this year, stating, "When we look at photos of Polynesian men and women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable."

She added, "The environment our kids grow up in and what they are exposed to have a role to play. Disney movies are very influential on our children... It is disappointing that Maui, one of our beloved historical ancestors from hundreds of years ago, who was a very strong man (and) a skilled navigator, is depicted to be so overweight."

Samoan rugby player Eliota Fuimanono Sapolu also weighed in on the criticism, admitting he isn't a fan of The Rock's latest movie character.

And Will Ilolahia from the Pacific Island Media Association, told Waatea News he had major concerns about the bad health message in the Disney film: "This depiction of Maui being obese is typical American stereotyping. Obesity is a new phenomena because of the first world food that's been stuffed down our throat."

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