DISNEY AND MORALITY
Catalyst October Issue 1997
We’re not sure what to make of it. First, Disney chairman Michael Eisner suggests that he’s discovered morality, then the next minute we learn that his company doesn’t want to touch the subject.
On August 24, Michael Eisner sounded like he got some of that old-time religion when he announced that he was upset with baseball for not suspending a player for drug possession. When Tony Phillips, who plays for the Disney-owned Anaheim Angels, was treated lightly for drug possession, Eisner commented, “I’m disappointed that baseball doesn’t have the kind of discipline that I think would be a good idea for an industry presenting itself as a role model for kids.”
Eisner’s remark makes us wonder whether he has any mirrors in his house. Nonetheless, he gave us reason for hope. That was quickly dashed when Disney spokesman Ken Green was asked by the Washington Post to comment on the Disney view of culture and morality. “We’re not getting into that” he said. But, of course, the company that pays his salary was founded to make its impact on culture and morality. And that it did, with style. Today’s Disney also impacts on culture and morality, but in a manner that Walt would never recognize.