Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Liberty Nation’s Hollyweird column shines the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their wild and wacky takes on today’s current events.
Disney, once beloved by families everywhere, has veered off its core value path and headed straight into the uncharted and sometimes volatile waters of wokeness. In an effort to become more inclusive and diverse, has the entertainment company ostracized its central customer base? Going from woke to broke and everything in between, we follow the timeline of headlines that has morphed the company from the happiest place on Earth to the loneliest.
Disney Joins the Cancel Culture Club
Suddenly, many of the cartoons and movies we grew up with are now considered racist. As Liberty Nation reported in 2020, Disney announced that four of their classic movies were going to carry warning labels because they include “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.” Those movies included The Aristocats, Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Swiss Family Robinson.
Next, it was decided that the Happily Ever After pre-show at Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando, FL, needed an introduction change. Instead of “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls,” visitors will instead hear: “Good evening, dreamers of all ages.”
And then came the rides and attractions. The Jungle Cruise, which opened in 1955, had to be updated because of its “negative descriptions” of native people. Splash Mountain is also being overhauled because it contained black stereotypes, and the Snow White ride had to be altered because the prince takes advantage of a sleeping woman who can’t say “no.” At the time, a reviewer for SFGate wrote: “A kiss he gives her without consent, while she’s asleep, which cannot possibly be true love if only one person knows it’s happening.”
Then things got even more political.
The House of Mouse vs Ron DeSantis
Who threw the first stone, Disney or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis? Well, that would depend on one’s perspective. Leesa K. Donner, Liberty Nation’s editor-in-chief, wrote:
“The left claims DeSantis has picked a fight with the influential and iconic American entertainment entity. However, just as a brawl on the playground needs a teacher who insists on finding out how it started, it seems some clarity is in order.”
As Mrs. Donner explained, DeSantis is pro-business but anti-woke, and Disney’s transition into all things woke has irked more than just the Republican leader. When Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill was approved, Disney pulled out its bullhorn and cried foul, stirring the pot on an already touchy subject.
The entertainment conglomerate had a sweet deal in the Sunshine State with it’s Reedy Creek District; however, that treat went sour when DeSantis assigned a new board to govern its actions. The folks at Disney weren’t happy about it, even going so far as to file a lawsuit against the governor, claiming his action violated the company’s right to free speech and breach of contract.
On Friday, May 19, DeSantis’ attorney filed a motion to disqualify Chief District Judge Mark Walker from overseeing the lawsuit, claiming the judge was not impartial based on past comments he’d made. “And then Disney is going to lose its status because – arguably, because they made a statement that run afoul – ran afoul of state policy of the controlling party,” was one example cited by the DeSantis motion, AP reported. During a stop in New Hampshire on Friday, DeSantis said:
“[Disney] can do whatever they want. I know people try to chirp and say this or that, but the chance of us backing down from that is zero.”
Now that DeSantis will likely be running for president, Disney is trying to throw another wrench into the possible candidate’s plans by scrapping a $1 billion campus scheduled for Lake Nona, FL, which would have brought about 2,000 jobs to the area. “When you are involved in a situation like this, it doesn’t happen very often that events like this are random or coincidental,” said Mark Johnston, a professor of marketing and ethics at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.
From Layoffs to Streaming
Disney’s financial woes started long before its feud with Florida, and now the company has been rearranging its spreadsheets to try and find ways to save money and increase profits, such as the April decision to lay off 15% of its employees to save $5.5 billion. The company also announced that it will close Disney World’s Galactic Starcruiser hotel in Orlando, hosting the final guests in late September. Guests were expected to pay around $5,000 for two nights to experience the Star Wars-themed accommodations.
The streaming business has also had its impact. Actors started suing the company for releasing films to Disney+ while still in the theaters. Recently, Disney announced “Flagship,” where it plans to move ESPN into the world of streaming as well, which will likely be a huge blow to Cable TV. Last year, as Breitbart reported, “Disney lost $4 billion on Disney+ and then lost four million subscribers.”
With the move to woke, it looks like Disney has painted itself into a corner. On the traditional side, families and conservatives rebuke the company for tainting values and the wholesome experience. As Mrs. Donner noted, there’s a Dump Disney effort that is gaining steam as the Internal Organization for the Family protests the company’s “grooming of young children.”
On the more progressive end, Disney’s newest move to cancel 58 shows has the LBGTQ community all riled up because of the content of some of the shows on the chopping block. The series Willow, for example, features several LGBTQ-related scenes and characters, and the cancelation has received backlash on social media:
“The fact that Willow hasn’t even been out for more than a few months and Disney+ is already removing it is insane to me… And right before Pride Month too.”
“Willow is one of their first LGBTQ+ project. Certainly sends the wrong kind of message in the wake of Disney’s fight with DeSantis and anti-LGBTQ+ policies. Feels icky they’re removing it and sort of caves to these bigots.”
This mess only intensifies the troubles between Hollywood and The Writers Guild of America, which currently has writers on strike, forcing many shows to air reruns. Some of those who have been working on these soon-to-be canceled Disney series expressed their frustrations and disgust as yet another avenue of earning an income is choked off.
Tune in next time to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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