Disney is reportedly planning to curtail the types of advertisements available on a new tier of its streaming service to keep the environment “family-friendly,” according to Variety.
The company, which is in the middle of continued controversy over its content as well as its position on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, will reportedly ban alcohol and political ads on Disney+.
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In addition to the purported political and alcohol prohibition, two media buyers told Variety the streamer won’t allow ads from other streaming services or rival entertainment studios.
Plus, kids’ content will reportedly be largely contained on the advertising front.
“According to the two media buyers, Disney will also be cautious about running commercials alongside shows aimed at pre-school audiences and will [not] run ads at all when an individual user profile in control of the viewing experience indicates a young child is watching,” Variety reported.
This cheaper, ad-supported version of Disney+, which could premiere later in 2022, will serve up about four minutes per hour of ads, according to TV Line.
The purported alcohol and political ad ban is particularly intriguing in light of the increasingly bleak opinion many Americans have developed about Disney — based on an increasing sense the service isn’t family-friendly and Christian parents, in particular, have a plethora of concerning content to vet before allowing kids to watch.
The ad revelations come after the release of a survey commissioned by NBC News that found what appears to be cratering support for Disney.
As Faithwire previously reported, the poll conducted by Hart Research Associates found just a mere 33% of American respondents had a “very” or “somewhat” positive view of The Walt Disney Company. Last year, Public Opinion Strategies, a different firm, found Disney was viewed favorably by 77% of respondents.
These seemingly descended numbers come after years of questions about Disney’s content and, more recently, months of public squabbling between the entertainment company and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
The war between Disney and DeSantis heightened after the governor signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law in March. Critics have vociferously dubbed the measure the “Don’t Say Gay bill,” despite the word “gay” being absent from the text.
NEW: Disney CEO Bob Chapek grovels, apologizes, and pledges to “be a better ally for the LGBTQ+ community.” He delegated the company’s moral authority to the “LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council” and now those internal activists have taken him as an ideological hostage. pic.twitter.com/efOSOmb47a— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) April 7, 2022
The law, which bars educators from teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation from pre-K through third grade, takes effect July 1.
At first, when the bill was proposed, Disney remained quiet, with CEO Bob Chapek taking heat for refusing to repudiate it after saying such actions from corporations are generally “counterproductive.”
But as a result of intense pressure, Disney reversed course and went all in. The company suddenly began pledging to help efforts to repeal the law, releasing a statement March 28 that dug its heels in on the matter.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” Disney said. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
DeSantis and his team pushed back, and the situation escalated until the Florida legislature rescinded Disney’s decades-long control of The Reedy Creek Improvement District, a private government once controlled by the entertainment giant; Disney’s sprawling Florida campus, which houses its theme parks, resides on that property.
The governor then signed that legislation, leaving many questions up in the air about what comes next for the stalemate between Disney and DeSantis and how Florida will handle the special district moving forward. Read more about how Disney’s Reedy Creek agreement took form and operated — and what comes next.
These issues were exacerbated by leaked videos from Disney leaders and staff discussing LGBTQ issues. Clips from The Walt Disney Company’s “Reimagine Tomorrow Summit,” an internal conference for employees, showed Chapek apologizing to LGBTQ employees and promising to do more.
In another video, Vivian Ware, “diversity and inclusion manager” for Disney, purportedly spoke favorably about California-based Disneyland’s decision to ax “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” proclamations from the park.
SCOOP: Disney diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware says the company has eliminated all mentions of “ladies,” “gentlemen,” “boys,” and “girls” in its theme parks in order to create “that magical moment” for children who do not identify with traditional gender roles. pic.twitter.com/OWsGTUoeCA— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) March 29, 2022
“We don’t want to just assume, because someone might be, in our interpretation, maybe presenting as female, that they may not want to be called ‘princess,'” she said. “So let’s think differently about how do we really engage with our guests in a meaningful and inclusive way that makes it magical and memorable for everyone.”
And Karey Burke, president of general entertainment at Disney, reportedly said she is the mom of pansexual and transgender children and wants to see “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters” in Disney films and TV shows.
With all of this in mind, negative polling data surrounding Disney shouldn’t be surprising.
Another survey from The Trafalgar Group and the Convention of States Action, conducted early last month, asked: “News reports reveal Disney is focusing on creating content to expose young children to sexual ideas. Does this make you more or less likely to do business with Disney?”
SCOOP: Disney corporate president Karey Burke says, “as the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual child,” she supports having “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories” and wants a minimum of 50 percent of characters to be LGBTQIA and racial minorities. pic.twitter.com/oFRUiuu9JG— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) March 29, 2022
Overall, nearly 70% of likely American voters said they are less likely to do business with Disney in response to this question, with 57% saying they are “much less likely” to engage with the brand.
Just over 9% said they are more likely to do business with the entertainment company, and 23% said there was “no difference” in their willingness to do business with Disney.
The Disney saga is nowhere near over, and it’s unclear whether the entertainment giant will continue its fight against the Parental Rights in Education Act and other social causes — or scale back to curb the impact of these negative survey findings.
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