William A. Donohue
When I was in the 7th grade, I was asked by one of my nun teachers who was the person I most admired. I said Walt Disney. When asked why, I simply said it is because he makes so many people happy.
That was then. Over the years, beginning in large measure in the 1990s, Disney turned against its family-friendly image, making and distributing fare that sharply broke with its moorings. I know because one of the first big victories I had was in 1995 when I confronted Disney senior officials, ordering them out of the headquarters of the New York Archdiocese, where we were located at that time.
The occasion was the movie “Priest,” a diabolical film that featured totally dysfunctional priests, all of whose problems were a function of their priesthood. Miramax, owned by Harvey and Bob Weinstein (Harvey is in prison for his sexual escapades) was the distributor of the film, and it had just been bought by Disney.
I held a press conference denouncing the movie, and when I learned that some of the Disney top brass were in the audience, I told them to get out. They did, much to the delight of the TV crew who were looking for a good story. Disney/Miramax did one anti-Catholic movie after another, leading to more confrontations.
Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC in 1995, and in short order they produced several Catholic-bashing shows, the most prominent of which was “Nothing Sacred.” We killed that one, too.
Fast forward to this year. On March 28, Disney released a statement condemning a Florida bill that barred teaching students K-3 about sexuality and gender identity. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill, arguing that children that young should not be subject to such content.
I was taken aback by what the “family-friendly” giant did. Walt would never sanction this form of child abuse. I figured that evangelicals would be aghast at Disney’s stance as well, so I called my friend Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, asking if he would join me in requesting a meeting with Bob Chapek, the CEO of Walt Disney Company. If Chapek stiffed us, I said, we would respond with vigor.
When Chapek never responded, I decided something must be done to register our outrage. If the Catholic League were to produce a documentary on how Disney has changed from its beginnings—it has joined forces with the most radical elements of the gay and transgender movement—that could have a significant cultural impact.
So what’s going on at Disney these days? Disney Corporate President Karey Burke boasts that she has “one transgender child and one pansexual child,” and that Disney has “many, many, many LBGTQIA characters.” She said her goal is to have a minimum of 50% of characters being of an “LGBT” orientation and racial minority. Roy P. Disney, grand nephew of Walt, has a transgender child.
Former writers tell how Disney is sexualizing children. One of them said the company has “a history of exposing its young actors to convicted child molesters,” and is bent on grooming kids with gay and transgender messaging.
In fact, its latest animated feature film, “Strange World,” includes the first openly gay teen romance in a children’s movie. Its upcoming “Baymax!” features a transgender man buying tampons, and floats the idea that men can have periods, too. They are targeting kids as young as two-years-old. They even have a line of queer clothing.
Disney is bent on normalizing aberrant sexual behavior, but not everywhere. It knows that the Communist Chinese don’t buy into this insanity, and neither do Muslim-run nations in the Middle East. So guess what? Disney, ever the unethical capitalist, has decided to respect their wishes and not send them their slimy fare.
There are signs that Disney is in over its head. Hundreds of Christians showed up at a rally in the spring pushing back against its morally debased presentations and activities. Similarly, it has been warned by investors not to push their sexual agenda too far. Not only that, but a “silent majority” of Disney employees have had it with the company’s radical politics.
Last year, noted transgender clinical psychologist Erica Anderson, who helped to promote this movement, stunned liberals when she said, “I think it’s gone too far.” She noted that they’ve gone beyond asking for tolerance. She is not alone. In a recent poll, nearly 75% of American voters said the targeting of underage minors in the transgender movement has gone too far.
The participants in the movie were chosen by Jason Meath, the film maker, and me. We have a star-studded cast. Jason has done a magnificent job with the documentary and has been a joy to work with.
“Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom: How Disney is Losing its Way” is a film I never envisioned producing. But if we lose Disney to the radical left that is at war with our Judeo-Christian heritage, that is a very bad sign. Our goal is to help turn things around.