Since its inception in 1923, Disney has represented itself in Hollywood in one important way: its family-oriented movies, television shows and park rides, especially in the mind, have been watching. everyoneand pitfalls that could cause political and cultural repercussions to be avoided.
The Disney brand is a star-studded fan and finds true love and lives happily ever after. If fairy tales are very secretive, Disney-type parks promise to escape reality with acceptable signs that say, “You leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow is a fantasy.”
More recently, however, the real evils of this world have been infiltrating the Kingdom of Magic. During this hyperpartisan era, all political divisions have been hitting Disney, putting at risk one of the world’s most famous brands – which, for many, represent America itself – in an attempt to drive a fast-changing game market.
At times, Disney got involved in social issues. Last summer, with applause from right and far left, Disney decided to make loud announcements in its non-political parks, eliminating “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” in favor of “age-old dreams.” But the cheerleader has found himself dragged into the controversy, as has recently been the case with Florida’s new law, which generally prohibits instruction in the classroom through third grade sex and gender identity and has been written by critics as “No. Say Gay.”
Initially, Disney tried to avoid legal action, especially in public, which led to the employee’s revolt. Disney then angrily criticized the bill – only to find himself at the crossroads of former Fox News and the Florida ambassador, Ron DeSantis, who sent a fundraising email to “Woke Disney” sponsors “lost the power to tell you. What to do.” Florida lawmakers began threatening to repeal a 55-year law that would allow Walt Disney World to function as their urban government. (Disney had already clashed with the governor over the epidemic crisis as a vaccine for workers.)
In an attempt to upset everyone, Disney seemed to have lost everyone.
“Disney-style work has always been on display: do nothing to upset or upset the audience,” said Martin Kaplan, a Norman Lear professor of entertainment, media and public relations at the University of Southern California and former Walt Disney. Studio manager. “Fun for you all. There is no objection. Let’s all be transformed by the magic wand. But we’re divided today, settled, so that even Disney is struggling to get us together. “
Avoiding divisive issues, of course, in itself reflects another worldview. The founder of the Walt Disney Company, after all, was a contract adversary. Main Street USA patriotism is evident in Disney theme parks. A traditional Christmas story is told in December each year at Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California with Candlelight Processional events, Bible verses and all.
It took the company until 2009 to produce a black prince.
But in recent years, something has changed. Robert A. Iger, who served as chief executive officer from 2005 to 2020, pushed the world’s largest entertainment company to accentuate the diversity of music and myths. As he said at a Disney stakeholder conference in 2017, on inclusion and equality: “We can adopt cultures, which we consider socially important, and transform social systems – making people accept racial and ethnic differences and all. Other aspects of our lives and our people. “
Basically, fun as a stimulus.
Mr. Iger was the driving force behind the international blockbuster “Black Panther,” which featured almost a Black cast and a powerful Afrocentric story. During his tenure, Disney also looked at the “Star Wars” franchise around female characters. The animated group (“Moana,” “Coco,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Soul,” “Encanto”) featured a variety of genres, cultures and ethnicities.
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The results, in particular, have been hitting once after another. But the Disney audience is back.
“Eternals,” a $ 200 million Disney-Marvel movie, was “shot” in the fall for depicting a gay hero kissing her husband, and online trolls flooding the Internet Movie Database with hundreds of anti-gay stars or only women. In January, Disney was accused by actor Peter Dinklage and others of stalking non-believers in the development of the “Snow White” movie – until it was revealed that the company had planned to replace the seven dwarfs with digital “magic creatures”. , ”Which also sparked complaints from some about the“ eradication ”of young people.
Disney executives tend to reject events like hurricanes in teapots: what is happening today, instead of new grievances tomorrow. But even an internet hurricane can be a distraction within the company. Meetings are held about how and when they can be answered; those with frustrated talent need to be reassured.
As Disney prepares to launch its advertising campaign in 2019, it has begun re-evaluating its video library. As part of the show, titled Stories Matter, Disney added criticism to the company’s assertion of “bad demonstrations or harassment of people or cultures.” Examples included episodes of “The Muppet Show” from the 1970s and “Dumbo” of 1941.
“This view was wrong then and is wrong now,” critics read.
The News Matter team has secretly announced to others that the problem, which was handed over to Disney executives, according to two Disney executives who spoke anonymously to discuss the matter. Ursula, an evil wizard from “The Little Mermaid” (1989), was one. His black plate (lavender skin, black legs) can be seen through the colored glass, the Stories Matter group warned; she too is a “strange-looking” person, with some inspired habits and realities of the charming queen.
Tinker Bell was known to be cautious because he “perceived the body” and was jealous of Peter Pan’s interest, according to supervisors, while Captain Hook may have revealed to Disney that he is being accused of racism or discrimination against people with disabilities because he is evil.
At least some people inside Disney are concerned that such influences are going too far. One of the regulators is concerned that looking at art using “politically correct filters” could compromise skills.
Disney declined to comment.
All of this comes at a crucial time for Disney, which is rushing to re-emerge as a promotional giant as tech giants like Amazon and Apple are steeped in the entertainment business and cable networks as Disney’s ESPN slowly fades. Disney is also embroiled in a controversial security change, and Mr. Iger resigned as chairman in December.
Mr. Iger sometimes addressed political issues that were very hot during his time as head of the organization. His successor, Bob Chapek, decided (with the help of the Disney team) to avoid interfering in government politics. Disney supporters continue to work in the background, however, as they did with Florida law.
“Our various stories and Our corporate voice – and it is more powerful than any tweets or persuasion, “Mr. Chapek wrote in an email to staff at Disney on March 7.” I strongly believe that our ability to tell such stories – is well received with open eyes. , ears and hearts – it would have been less if our company had been a political ball in every controversy. “
In the case of Florida, the route backfired, first with staff demonstrations and marches, then back to the right. Fox News correspondent Tucker Carlson said Disney had “sex conversations for 6-year-olds” and “it was as dangerous as hell.” Tweets with the #boycottDisney hashtag gained millions between March 28 and April 3, according to ListenFirst, a review company.
Disney executives have long believed that the strike would affect the company’s business, if any. Disney is such a behemoth (it makes about $ 70 billion in annual revenue) that its avoidance is impossible.
But the same spread that makes Disney suffer from neglect also makes it a well-known part of the country’s cultural dialogue. Almost a month goes by without dusting off, often with sexual and gender awareness.
Last summer, “Muppet Babies,” Disney Junior’s series for 3- to 8-year-olds, took a closer look at gender. Gonzo wore a dress, mocking the advice from Miss Piggy “that girls come as kings and boys come as professionals.” Out magazine reported that the article “sent a strong message of love and acceptance to the opposite sex everywhere!” And one right-wing analyst blamed Disney for “pushing the trans agenda” on children, sparking an online brush fire.
At about the same time, some LGBTQ representatives criticized Disney on “Loki,” a major Disney + show. In the third episode of “Loki,” the celebrity confessed for the first time to the pictures that sports fans already know: They are gay and lesbian. But blinking-with-you-miss-the-record-provoking angered some prominent LGBTQ people. “It’s almost like a word,” stated British filmmaker Russell T. Davies (“Queer as Folk”) at the time. “It is foolish, lustful, weak.”
The battle continues unabated: The Disney-Pixar film “Lightyear,” released in June, depicts a gay and lesbian family, while “Thor: Love and Thunder,” arrives in July, will feature a LGBTQ adult.
Last month, when Disney held their most recent meeting, Mr. Chapek was placed on the site with his left and right-handers.
One person called on Disney to take action by offering donations to lawmakers who had passed bills banning voting and reproduction. Mr Chapek said Disney had donated money to “both sides of the aisle” and that it was reviewing its donation plans. (Then he stopped all donations in Florida.) A member of a shareholding advocacy group picked up a microphone and observed that “Disney since its inception represented a child safe environment,” before commenting on homosexuality and asking Mr. . Chapek to “leave politics with the views of men or women.”
In response, Mr. Chapek noticed a difference in those he shared with. “I think all those who have been involved in modern music can see how difficult it is to try to put a needle in the middle of a major political crisis,” he said.
“What we want is for Disney to have a place where people can gather,” he continued. “My theory is that, when someone walks down Main Street and comes to the gates of our parks, they put their differences aside and look at what they have as a shared belief – a shared belief in Disney magic, hopes, dreams and ideas.”