Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on what is in store for Disney in 2023:
Disney CEO Robert Iger will have to decide which road he wants the company to travel down in 2023, and which one he wants to avoid. Does he want Disney to be family-friendly or gay-friendly? He can’t have it both ways.
Last March and April there were many media reports on how determined Disney was to flood its upcoming movies with LGBT characters, but after experiencing considerable blowback, those kinds of news stories quickly dried up.
Disney’s stock fell 44 percent in 2022, the company’s worst year since 1974. Over the holidays, it appeared that Disney scored with Avatar: The Way of Water—its total box office receipts of $1.4 billion was impressive (the overseas share was double the domestic)—but it cost $2 billion to make, so things are not looking rosy.
Disney needed Avatar to do better because its gay-friendly Strange World ended the year with losses of $150 million. Had it been a family-friendly movie—it features a homosexual boy, Ethan, crushing on some guy—it may have netted some big numbers overseas. But the corporate boys and girls at Disney decided the movie wouldn’t play in many international markets.
Strange World never played in the Muslim-run Middle Eastern nations, nor did it run in Communist China. Other nations that were not sent the flick include Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, Vietnam, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Maldives, Nepal and Bangladesh.
This raises an interesting question: Why does Disney find it necessary to proselytize Western nations—and that is exactly what it is doing—with its LBGT agenda—while giving the mostly “people of color” nations a pass?
Had Ethan been portrayed as just an ordinary kid, with no sexual designs on anyone, Strange World could have been a hit in the international market, and Disney’s stock wouldn’t have tanked to the extent it did. There is a price for playing politics with families.
It remains to be seen which road Disney takes in 2023: the one that respects traditional moral values, or the one that seeks to subvert them.
Stay tuned, folks, our documentary, “Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom: How Disney Is Losing Its Way,” is in the final stages of editing.
Contact Kristina Schake, executive vp, global communications: Kristina.Schake@disney.com