In my Hollywood days, one of my best now ex-friends (his choice, not mine) worked for Disney. The gag greeting between him and his coworkers was a Nazi-like arm salute, only fist closed and thumb and pinky extended to suggest (Mickey) mouse ears, with the chant, “Squeak Heil!” That little inside joke doesn’t seem so funny now that the Disney corporation has launched a perverse offensive on traditional parents. But like its guardians, the Democrats, Disney is about to learn a brutal lesson in realpolitik — that America is no longer their Fantasia. For the conservative counterrevolution has already begun, politically and culturally.
Unfortunately for the Disney Woketeers, they’re behind enemy lines, in the state of Florida, and up against a strongman, Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has Republican reinforcements coming this fall. And their own leader, Disney CEO Bob Chapek, is a proven weakling. Chapek tried to remain neutral when the Parental Rights in Education bill passed the Florida Senate until a loud minority in his company shamed him into damning the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts,” reads an official Disney statement.
Disney heiress and spoiled brat Abigail Disney joined in the outrage, further disgracing the legacy of her great-uncle Walt, the only reason she has any followers. Disney tweeted, “Like all radical ideologues, the right wing has finally run amok and is coming to devour the hand that feeds it. Business. For my part I am delighted.”
DeSantis slammed Disney, its China cowardice, and wokeness like a latter-day Emile Zola in J’Accuse.
Disney’s ignorance and societal contempt are understandable. In her little bubble, money talks and peasants walk. A powerful private company showing open hostility to a democratically passed non-liberal law was the new normal. Corporations became more aggressive in their SJW virtue signaling — except in China, where they keep their traps and Twitter feeds shut. Last year, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey and Delta CEO Ed Bastian famously blasted Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021. Their companies paid only a small price for this in negligible conservative boycotts. But Georgia is not Florida, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is no DeSantis.
The Florida governor didn’t just defend the bill; he slammed Disney, its China cowardice, and wokeness like a latter-day Emile Zola in J’Accuse. And the Florida return fire on Disney didn’t stop there or with DeSantis. State Rep. Spencer Roach in a tweet recommended the repeal of the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, “which allows Disney to act as its own government. If Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they be regulated in Orange County,” the partial location of Disney World.
Another Florida representative, Anthony Sabatini, spoke even more direly. “When Disney purchased land for its theme parks, it pushed through laws that said it was self-governing,” Sabatini told Newsweek. “They have their own police and fire departments and could even have their own nuclear power plant if they wished. If it were up to me, I’d call a special session and Disney would lose all of it.… It’s not going to be pretty for them — they’ll be subject to all sorts of crazy taxes, rules and regulations. It will make life a living hell for them.”
Matters got much worse for the company last Tuesday when independent journalist Christopher Rufo released devastating videos from a corporate “all hands” meeting regarding the Parental Rights in Education Bill. The queer agenda Rufo exposed made top Disney executives seem more like child abusers.
In the videos, executive producer Latoya Raveneau (The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder) says, “Our leadership over there has been so welcoming to my not-at-all-secret gay agenda.” Karey Burke, president of Disney’s general entertainment content, refers to the Reimagine Tomorrow initiative, declaring that “50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment will come from underrepresented groups.” And diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware brags about eliminating the terms “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” from Disney theme parks. (READ MORE: Disney Furthers the Death of Innocence)
This was all too noxious for Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, who felt compelled to advance his planned fall announcement of the company’s new production unit, DW Kids. “Today … we got to see leaked footage from inside Disney of high-up Disney employees saying things like, ‘We have a not-so-secret gay agenda,’ saying things like, ‘We’re adding in queerness’ whenever we can…. So what are we going to do about it? We’re going to do the same thing we always do: we’re going to build alternatives.” Boreing declared his company will be investing $100 million over the next three years to bring non-woke children’s entertainment to the audience. “You’re supposed to give kids a safe environment to be kids,” he said. “You’re not supposed to be challenging kids with radical new ideas.”
Disney forces have committed a major tactical mistake in the culture war. By moving into the unfamiliar territory of politics, they’ve left their strongest flank, entertainment, vulnerable, with ideology providing poor ammunition. And they’re alienating their once-loyal base: traditional parents. Ask Virginia Democrats how well that worked out for them last year. A new Rasmussen poll found that only 28 percent of American adults believe the emphasis on “inclusion” and “diversity” is making children’s entertainment better, and an overwhelming 45 percent think it’s making it worse. If Abigail Disney really wants to talk “business,” Disney is getting the wrong end of it.