As a person who has spent a lifetime working with businesses in terms of politics, public policy and legislation, I am surprised how so many companies have embraced cultural wokeness. It gets them into damaging controversies that they do not need and cannot win.
Certainly, business leaders can express their personal political preferences. It is a mistake, however, when they use their positions of authority to embroil the company in a political controversy that is not in their wheelhouse or their best interest.
The Disney Company is the latest example of corporate leadership going off the rails – working AGAINST the best interests of the business. Robert Chapek, CEO of Disney, has decided to come out against the new Florida law that restricts subjects of overtly sexual content from being part of the curriculum for school children from pre-school to the fourth grade. Most parents would give the legislation a “well duh!” response. It should not even be controversial.
Those on the radical left – the wokest of the woke – believe that children should be “educated” on the various sexual options and practices engaged in by adults – many of these, themselves, are controversial. They further believe that these pre-pubescent children should be encouraged to express their own sexual and gender identity at the earliest ages.
While a five-year-old may know the general difference between a boy and a girl, they may not have an intellectual level capable of comprehending the nuances of sex and sexual preferences. At the youngest ages, most of them are clueless as to how babies are made. They are not sexually confused because the do not think about sexuality in an adult sense.
For several generations of kids, the Disney characters have mere been friends. No hint of passion or lust. Maybe the woke instruction for kids can now deal with Goofy’s previously unrecognized personal identity crisis. Sometimes he identifies as a dog but other times he looks for romance from Clarabelle Cow – as we see in the image atop this commentary.
The Disney brand has been very successful as a provider of wholesome family and children entertainment. Stuff that is generally non-controversial. Stuff with broadly accepted moral content. And certainly, nothing that falls in the adult realm of issues.
For corporate Disney to place the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck brands into political controversy is just not good business. I think we should all be able to agree that having shareholders screaming, customers walking away and protestors at the gate is not good for the business.
Disney could once credibly claim to be the “happiest place on earth” because it was a place where all the acrimony of daily life could be left behind. But now, the Magic Kingdom is rife with divisive conflict. Perhaps Disney can make an old joke into a cartoon under its more leftwing woke policy. The one where Mikey is told he cannot divorce Minnie just because she is crazy. To which Mickey replies: “I didn’t say she was crazy. I said she was (expletive) Goofy.” (I know that is a stretch, but I could not resist getting that old joke squeezed in.)
Disney is now in the center of a major divisive controversy. It has taken the side that is generally in opposition to the majority view on a controversial adult subject – sex, gender and genitalia. The focus on the national debate involves Disney’s core market – the five to eight-year-olds. However, the youngsters are not participants in the debate – and generally, their innocence is protected by keeping such discussions out of their lives until they reach a more mature level.
While the woke elite finds children’s sexuality, sexual identity, and sexual understanding to be an important subject to pursue with the youngest of them, most people – especially parents – disagree. At least that is what polling and parent protests tell us.
Disney has come down on the wrong side of an issue that should not even be an issue for the company. The Florida law is NOT anti-gay. It is designed to keep adult-level instructions and content about S-E-X away from children unable to properly process the information. The law is the result of the radial left elite using public education to push adult content on kids. It is an attempt to indoctrinate the most vulnerable among us – who are not yet capable of critical thinking on the matter.
One television anchor said that the decision of Disney would come as a huge disappointment to its founder, Walt Disney. More importantly, it is coming as a monumental disappointment to a very large segment of the Disney market. We will have to wait to see how that plays out.
As a salute to the old Disney, my wife and I chose the Micky and Minnie Mouse as the topper of our wedding cake. That would not happen today.
So, there ‘tis.