On Saturday, April 29, 1995, the Massachusetts Chapter of the Catholic League picketed the Disney Store in Boston in protest over the movie “Priest.” The demonstration, which lasted more than three hours, was held in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall Market Place, which houses Disney’s largest retail outlet in New England.
More than ninety League members, including priests, nuns, and religious brothers, marched in front of the store praying the rosary. A dozen signs were carried which read, “Stop Disney Catholic-bashing,” “Disney is anti-Catholic,” and “Is ‘Priest’ family entertainment?” Over a thousand leaflets calling for the boycott of Disney were distributed to patrons and passersby.
The management of the privately owned market place had initially attempted to discourage the League from picketing in front of the Disney store but relented when the League produced a copy of a 1990 U.S. District Court decision declaring the market a public forum.
The Boston Sunday Globe, The Boston Sunday Herald, WBZ-TV, and WROL Radio all carried reports of the League protest.
Catholic League Operations Director C. J. Doyle told the media that “Priest” is “an egregious example of the hypocrisy of the Walt Disney Company which markets itself as the nation’s leading purveyor of family entertamment, while underwriting religious bigotry and sponsoring defamatory attacks against Catholics.” Doyle went on to say, “Disney’s ‘Snow White’ image is a fraud. The Catholic League intends to make the American public aware of Disney’s contemptuous disregard for the sensibilities of 59 million Catholic Americans. It is Disney that is ultimately responsible for this travesty and it is Disney that will remain the focus of our protests.”