In continued support of the company’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, Disney heiress Abigail Disney has called on the House of Mouse to both “admit that there is no longer such a thing” as political neutral ground and further commit itself to fighting “the right-wing agenda.”
Penning a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, Disney asked, “If my grandfather’s company doesn’t stand for love, what’s it for?”
“To find its way again, Disney needs to muster the courage to weather the momentary outrage of people who will not be satisfied until they have erased an entire class of human beings,” she added. “Because if this brand does not stand for love, what on earth is it for?”
Beginning her criticism with corporate heads, Disney observed, “Business leaders like to claim political neutrality, suggesting they be left alone to ‘just do business.’ But changes to tax, antitrust and regulatory policy in recent decades, directly affecting (and benefiting) profitability, make it clear that just doing business has been very political indeed.”
“Yes, voices on both the left and right have embraced the mantra that ‘markets fix everything,’” she said. “But the most vigorous defenders of extreme subsidies, tax breaks, deregulation and disempowerment of workers are consistently found on the right.”
“[In their desire to remain neutral] Disney hasn’t been behaving any more nefariously than other corporations,” she admitted. “This is just how the game has come to be played.”
Referencing Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s recent warning to Disney that “When Republicans […] get back into power, Apple and Disney need to understand one thing: Everything will be on the table. Your copyright, trademark protection. Your special status within certain states. And even your corporate structure itself,” the heiress continued, “As much as I hate agreeing with [Laura] Ingraham, she is right about one thing: Protections for rent-seeking practices ought to be reviewed.”
“And as much as I have to lose as a shareholder from saying so, I will admit: Disney is a creative company that for far too long has relied on crafty political machinations to protect its advantages while doing very little creative production beyond sequels, remakes, tent poles and so on — with the notable exception of animation,” declared Disney.
However, remiss to fully agree with Ingraham’s position, Disney argued, “But what Ingraham suggested is selective enforcement of such reviews or protections that amount to punishment for speaking up against right-wing positions, rather than a desire to challenge the imbalances that endow corporations with these advantages to begin with.”
“This time, the far-right-wing political machine appears to have gotten out over its skis,” she wrote. “Politicians should be asking whether, come next election cycle, Disney or any other corporation will back them given these threats of arbitrary punishment under a potential Republican administration.”
“Has allowing zealots (and opportunists) to take charge of the right-wing agenda effectively bitten the corporate hand that has fed the right for so long?” Disney asked. “The world has changed since my grandfather’s day. Corporations looking to occupy neutral ground — including Disney — would do well to admit that there is no longer such a thing.”
Drawing her op-ed to a close, Disney opined, “The political backlash against Disney is a monster of corporate America’s own creation.”
“Once content to stay quiet and feign neutrality while real people were actively harmed by right-wing policy machinations, the mob has now come for businesses,” she said. “We need corporations to step up on principle, regardless of what the resulting backlash might look like.”
Disney ultimately proclaimed, “The only option for corporate leaders is to stand tall for authenticity, generosity, joy and decency. These things are kryptonite for the right-wing agenda. Fortunately, they are also the heart and soul of the Disney brand.”
The heiress would later expand on her op-ed during a subsequent appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter, stating that the recent pushback against Disney’s political ventures was the result of “a pretty coordinated, strategic plan unfolding,” with the company being made “the biggest target because it is so woven into families.”
“And so if you can create this idea that somebody is in there trying to indoctrinate your child, my goodness, the paranoid imagination can run circles with that,” she added.
Continuing, Disney maintained, “And so I understand why it’s been selected in whatever strategic meeting they had for what they would turn to next. But this is absurd. The thing that Disney stands for more than anything in every film and especially in the animation, whether there is a gay character or not, is love and acceptance and family and joy.”
“So they are trying to inject something into what Disney does that has nothing to do with what Disney does whether or not there are gay characters,” she claimed. “And I keep wondering what is their theory of change exactly? Because if you were to erase every reference to gayness and gay people from the planet, which is sort of what the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill feels like. Will children not become gay? Do they need to be recruited and groomed or are people just gay?”
“And I think that’s a hard question they need to ask themselves because if you go back through history there’s been gay people whether or not the word was ever spoken,” said Disney. “So this is an ineffective way of going about what they want. It’s an attempt to push history backwards.”
“It denies the fact that everyone conservative or not that has a gay friend or a transgender family member,” the heiress concluded. “We are all in it together, now. And I think it is all of our fight.”
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