Long considered the place to turn for family-friendly entertainment, recent moves and statements by The Walt Disney Company indicate a turn toward a cultural agenda that threatens that legacy and possibly its future.
“I grew up with the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights and you curl up with a blanket with your family and watch a great Disney movie and that that company doesn’t exist anymore,” said Adam Holz, Director of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In.
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Back in March, Disney made headlines for publicly opposing a Florida law that bans public school lessons including sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Since then, top executives have signaled a greater shift towards telling stories that explore those topics.
Whistleblowers from Disney sent internal videos to conservative activist Chris Rufo, citing concern about the company’s direction.
In one video, Latoya Raveneau, Executive Producer of Disney Television Animation, said, “I don’t have to be afraid to have these two characters kiss in the background. Like I was just, wherever I could, adding queerness.”
In another video, the President of Disney General Entertainment, Karey Burke said, “now we know, as my son texted me this morning, ‘Gen Z is 30 to 40 percent queerer than other generations, mom, so Disney better get with it.'”
Burke went on to express support for increasing LGBTQ+ characters in entertainment content, with a goal of 50 percent of all regular and recurring roles across the Disney universe coming from “underrepresented groups.”
“Disney has been a little bit on the slow end to make some of those changes, but now it feels like they have jumped to the forefront and they have said, ‘We’re not only going to represent but we are going to be in an activist position promoting this agenda,'” Holz told CBN News.
The Disney-Pixar film, Lightyear, out this month, features a lesbian couple, and Thor: Love and Thunder, due out in July, has a major LGBTQ lead character.
Holz says in an effort to stay culturally relevant, Disney is losing touch with a large portion of its audience.
“There are parents saying, ‘Wait a minute, why do we have to import a sexual message into kids programming?’ And so even if we talk beyond this specific LGBT agenda, I think there’s concern that why does everything have to be sexualized? Is it possible to just have entertainment that’s innocent, that leaves that for later and doesn’t bring that into everything we’re doing,” Holz questioned.
According to a Trafalgar Group national survey, nearly 70 percent of American voters say they are less likely to do business with Disney due to their push to expose young children to sexual ideas.
“Disney was absolutely synonymous with trust. There’s all this other stuff out there, but Disney was okay. And now, this is just another entertainment provider and we don’t trust them. And we don’t want that agenda necessarily preached to our children,” explained Holz.
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