The op-ed, penned by Linfield College Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, accuses actress Julie Andrews of sporting blackface in the iconic chimney sweep scene where they perform the song "Step in Time."
"When the magical nanny … accompanies her young charges, Michael and Jane Banks, up their chimney, her face gets covered in soot, but instead of wiping it off, she gamely powders her nose and cheeks even blacker," he writes.
Backlash on social media was swift, with many saying the claims are ridiculous.
Mary Poppins wasn’t flirting with black face! It was soot in their faces from being a chimney!!! Stopped spreading racism claims on non racist things like this!!!— Jennifer Conway (@jencon1978) January 31, 2019
But Pollack-Pelzner is standing by his work, writing on Twitter that the "chief reason I wrote this article was the hope that a Disney exec would read it, take another look at the forthcoming 'Dumbo' remake, and ask if there was anything just a little bit racist they might want to rethink before it hits the big screen."