We were between infancy and early adulthood when we fell into a tank of colorful acrobats, where we were introduced to Marilyn, who tirelessly searches for (baby) Nemo, before stumbling upon Dory, a light-hearted, fast-forgetting blue fish on his journey. We walked on the dry coasts, and extended our gaze, where the proud land of the “Lion King” was established, and his successor Simba fled from it, while he was still a naive cub devoured by panic. In another similar forest, “Tarzan” is stagnant among a tribe of gorillas, and among the tangled branches of Neverland comes every child who refuses to go old and grow like “Peter Pan.”
Disney has always been a master of creating works that comply with its multicultural and age-old vision of entertainment, telling tons of stories with animation that were not yet popular. This orientation has earned her a broad mass base that has enabled her to form an empire that has grown in popularity year after year. In November 2019, “Disney” launched the live broadcasting platform “Disney Plus” in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands, before expanding later in many European countries.
After that, “Disney” stated that it is in the process of releasing a global version of its platform, in which it has treasured masterpieces, especially after its acquisition of the prestigious 21st Century Fox group, as well as its management of the most successful film studios around the world such as “Pixar” and “Marvel”. On June 8, 2022, Disney officially announced the launch of its electronic platform in the Middle East, igniting severe competition in the broadcasting sector in the region, which is currently dominated by Netflix, with more than 6.8 million subscribers. According to Digital TV Research data.
With the approaching launch of the Disney Plus platform in the Middle East, we see most Arab filmmakers racing to promote the platform and cover the latest news, despite Disney’s declared support for homosexuality and the addition of anomalous characters in its works, as everyone learned of a statement by a senior Disney official, so what caused all this obsession ? pic.twitter.com/dJyG8NO5Z1
— Mohammed Al-Qassimi (@alqassi88) June 7, 2022
“Disney” made the decision to create a live broadcasting platform during a time when the “Covid-19” epidemic spread and forced everyone to their homes, as the company’s stock price fell, its profits declined, and box office and theme park revenues decreased, then “Disney” decided that the timing was perfect to launch its platform, ideal. To the extent that she got 50 million participants in six months, a number that far exceeded her ambitions.
However, no sooner had Disney launched its business in the Middle East than it faced a storm that it did not expect: popular campaigns and widespread official calls to boycott the platform that launched its operation in the region coinciding with the release of the movie “Lightyear”, which featured a scene of a kiss between two gay women. , in clear violation of the culture of the region and the standards of media content prevailing in it.
The film is about the fictional astronaut Buzz Lightyear who is said to have inspired the Toy Story films, and the series has been co-authored by a group of filmmakers including John Lasseter, Betty Doctor, Andrew Stanton and Joey Ranft. The Disney Plus crew sat down with Thomas Mashburn, a NASA physicist and astronaut, who recently returned from his trip to the International Space Station, to absorb the realities of space travel, base the film on science, and approximate cinematic tropes.
But because of the aforementioned scene, the film has been suspended in at least 14 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia so far, and it has been unable to achieve high revenues. The strange thing is that “Disney” had cut the aforementioned scene from the movie completely, but events that took place necessitated According to her, to return it again, despite all the possible repercussions that seem to have exceeded Disney’s expectations and estimates.
“Don’t say like me!”
The spark was set in March of this year (2022), when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed a new law (1) in the state called “Don’t say gay”, which prohibits all schools from engaging in discussions of with sexual orientation or sexual orientation, up to the third grade, in order to support the right of the father and mother to raise their children and choose what suits their culture, regardless of the environment in which they live. 2).
The law also obliges schools to abide by absolute transparency in the event of providing mental health services to their children, and to explicitly tell them previously about the quality of the service and the ideas that it will provide to them, which was seen as an implicit acknowledgment that the ideas of the so-called “LGBT community” do not suit all age groups and need special oversight with A category like children (3) is willing to accept any idea as a belief, to accept it and to test it out of curiosity.
As a result, Disney CEO Bob Chuckle initially chose to distance himself from taking a public stand on the law, but after pressure was forced to voice his vocal and unequivocal opposition to the Florida law, pledging $5 million to organizations working to protect gay rights. (4). The state of Florida only withdrew from Disney the tax benefits it used to offer it (5) (6), and without knowing it, he found himself entangled in waves of discontent.
The situation only got worse and inflamed, as some employees from within “Disney” organized protest rallies across America calling the company a fascist, and gays in “Pixar” issued an open letter criticizing Disney’s repeated deletion of “the footage that represents them”, which hinders them On creating content that “could contribute to reforming discriminatory legislation in the world,” they said, citing examples such as the films “Lucca,” “Soul,” and “Inside Out.”
Campaigns to condemn and boycott Disney have expanded on both sides, and the situation has strengthened that several states such as Ohio and Louisiana follow Florida’s lead, and move towards passing laws that prevent schools from providing any content directed about sexual orientation until eighth grade, while forcing teachers to refrain from referring to their sexual orientation or orientation (7).
In the end, “Disney” yielded to pressure from the gay community and accepted the scene again, and tangle was forced to apologize, so that Galen Sussman, producer of “Toy Story” and “Lightyear” films, tried to find a justification for the scene (8 ), claiming that the same-sex relationship between the two women helped improve one of the film’s lines and portray the solitude of “Buzz Fly”, an argument that is technically inconsistent, as appears from the disqualification of “Disney” itself for this line at one stage.
– Hashtag program (@ajmhashtag) June 8, 2022
Amidst the intensification of events, an old video clip was circulated showing the head of Disney’s entertainment content, Keri Burke, confirming the company’s intention to convert 50% of its cartoon characters into gay characters, due to a complaint from one of her sons about the poor representation of LGBT communities in the company’s films and among its main characters, Burke commented that this transformation does not only mean the appearance of gay scenes in “Disney” films, but also means that they are the heroes of the stories and the focus of the main stories. We can imagine a decision of this magnitude imposed on the basis of a purely narrow personal experience (9).
Disney’s latest ordeal
This provoked sharp reactions, especially after actor Chris Evans, who performed the voice of Buzz Fly, called people who disagreed with him “idiots”. In the end, parents had no choice but to deprive their children of a source of joy they had attached to a part of their childhood, including Ben Shapiro, founder of “Daily Wire Media”, who stated that Disney’s goal should be to preserve children’s innocence, not fight it Responding to pressures from a small and radical group of employees who need validation of their choices in life.
🔥Disney: The fall of the pedophile empire continues
The value of the company declines, due to the public boycott of its bad and evil products.
Disney’s stock fell nearly 50 percent as the crowd turned away. pic.twitter.com/jIx81Z1NJq
— ☝️Index Hakeem 🟣☝️ (@hakrasha) June 22, 2022
In turn, the American broadcaster Megan Kelly supported that position, and expressed her refusal to provide “Disney” for this type of content, stressing that the first is to provide films that teach children kindness and tolerance. Looking at the revenue, the film has so far earned $51 million domestically, and $84 million worldwide, and compared to the film’s production cost of $200 million, this is a huge loss (10).
Will Disney reverse its decision or move forward with it despite its losses? We do not know yet, it is an ongoing battle between several parties, and it is a political battle in its origin, but it is an opportunity for small platforms and film makers to produce content that finds acceptance from the public who does not want to make their children subject to this type of ideas around the world and in the Arab world in particular, because “Disney Undoubtedly, it will leave a huge void if it insists on its new policy.
- What Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill actually says (nbcnews.com)
- So, What Exactly Is The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law & How Does It Affect You?
- What Does ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Actually Say? — The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Disney CEO says company opposes ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Florida (cnbc.com)
- Disney employees ‘angry’ over response to Florida LGBTQ bill – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)
- Disney employees slam Bob Chapek’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill remarks (nypost.com)
- Disney employees against the “Don’t say gay” bill – Teller Report
- A Conversation With Lightyear’s Angus MacLane, Galyn Susman, and Thomas Marshburn | Disney News
- #BoycottDisney Is Trending. Here’s Why – Disney Dining
- Why Disney Lost Us On ‘Lightyear’: It Starts With a False LGBT Activist Narrative – RedState