According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Disney is not a left- or right-leaning company. He claimed this in response to a shareholder’s question during the company’s annual meeting. From Deadline:
The stockholder, speaking during the Q&A portion of Disney’s annual shareholder meeting, noted that co-stars Pedro Pascal and Gina Carano both controversially referenced Nazi Germany in social media comments but only she was removed. “What about the Disney black list?” he asked.
Chapek didn’t speak to the Carano incident directly but said Disney stands “for values that are universal: respect, decency, integrity and inclusion and we seek to have the content that we make reflective of the rich diversity of the world we live in. And I think that’s a world we should all live in harmony and peace.”
Apparently, rich diversity doesn’t include people with heterodox views such as Carano. In her interview with Ben Shapiro announcing her new partnership with Daily Wire, Carano explained that she is hardly a staunch conservative. She comes across as strong, sensitive, and relatively socially liberal. Her comments on social media talked about what happened before the horrors of Nazi Germany. An honest read would have seen it as a comment on our cultural moment where nearly every institution is attempting to deepen our society’s division.
The shareholder correctly pointed out that Carano’s co-star Pedro Pascal used similar imagery. However, his was more direct. He made a direct comparison between the processing of unaccompanied children arriving at America’s southern border and concentration camps. Or, rather, he attempted to do so. The picture he used was not of our southern border at all. His tweet was critical of America and the policies of the Trump administration. Carano was asking us to think about how we view our neighbors.
Chapek’s comments came during the same week that access to four classic Disney titles — Dumbo, Peter Pan, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Aristocrats — was restricted for children under seven. Beginning in October 2020, these titles had contained a content warning as part of Disney’s Stories Matter initiative that read:
This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.
I’m not sure if Disney knows this, but cartoons have utilized stereotypes forever. A cartoon, by definition, is a series of caricature-like drawings that tell a story. This characterization is how most sane people would describe the depiction of Native Americans in Peter Pan. They were not villains or depicted to be bad in any way.
Sometimes, these classic films contained jokes meant to fly over the heads of small children who would have no context to interpret them but which would keep parents entertained. The “problematic” crows in Dumbo fit this description. No one on Disney’s woke police has ever been to a Chinese restaurant. There are often cartoonish pictures of Asian people in traditional dress on tapestries and other artwork that are incredibly stereotypical. And they put chopsticks in every takeout order. But a cat playing the piano with them is “harmful.”
The content warning and the images identified as negative depictions are all part of the woke culture. That level of analysis is leaning about as far left as a company can get. Getting the vapors over children’s cartoons that have been around for decades might even out-woke Coca Cola telling its employees to be “less white.”
A recent poll indicates that no one is buying what Disney’s CEO is selling. The Daily Wire partnered with Public Opinion Strategies to assess America’s views on the company’s woke behavior. The findings include:
- When participants were shown the social media post that got Carano fired, 72% said her firing was unjustified.
- 64% opposed Disney closing down popular theme park rides when activists said they had racist origins or messages.
- 65% said companies like Disney have taken political correctness too far.
- 56% opposed Disney’s threat to cease doing business in Georgia following the passage of a law restricting abortion.
- A whopping 84% oppose Disney’s decision to film a movie in China.
- Fully 60% of Americans say they have a less favorable impression of Disney, and 58% say they are less likely to watch its programming.
If Chapek wanted to reassure stockholders and the public of the company’s apolitical stance, he had the opportunity to be transparent and declined it:
Disney shareholders offered up two proposals that were roundly defeated, one asking the company to disclose “dark money” lobbying payments and the other requesting non-management employees be included on director nominee candidate lists.
Disney is teaching the young fans of The Mandalorian that they’d better watch what they say. Otherwise, they will not be part of Disney’s “inclusive” culture.