'Why Hath Disney And Chick-fil-A Forsaken Us?' Fox Columnists Cry Desperately Into The Night
Conservatives are at a loss. After years of being on the side of big business, of defending the rights of corporations to do whatever they want so long as it makes them money, corporations are turning on them by doing things meant to appeal to people other than them, because of how they want to make money. How is that fair? It's almost as if these large corporate entities never really loved them after all.
Fox news published two truly stellar op-eds this week from people who were very sad about corporations supposedly going "woke."
In "Disney World was our destination. What I found could be the end for a beloved American company," NYPost columnist Karol Markowicz shared the very traumatizing story of how she went to Disney World and was very distraught about how woke it has become — so woke that several of the rides were not working. That's a thing, you know.
Now, Karol with a K wants us to know that she had intended to stop supporting Disney after they were so mean to poor, innocent Ron DeSantis when all he wanted was to keep children from finding out that LGBTQ people exist before their parents even have a chance to really mold them into the little Anita Bryants and Rick Santorums they were meant to be.
However! Markowicz was heartened by the fact that she felt DeSantis had really done a good job of silencing the company and hoped that they had learned their lesson. So when she was offered a chance to speak at Disney, she packed up her family and headed on down. But she was not prepared for what she saw there.
We arrived at our hotel late, and while my husband and I checked in, the kids watched a TV in the lobby. "I remember this show from when I was little," my still little seven-year-old exclaimed. It was "The Three Caballeros," his favorite.
As I looked up the year the film was made (1944), I discovered that Disney has inserted a disclaimer before the film that notes: "This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together."
The disclaimer also appears before films like "Aladdin," "Dumbo" and "Peter Pan." It’s another attempt by Disney to placate the woke critics. What Disney should learn, quickly, is that those critics can never be placated.
Why was there not a warning for this warning, hmm? Isn't anyone thinking about the children of conservatives who will possibly never recover from something like this?
She also found that The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is now ... more inclusive!
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where little girls get their hair and makeup done to become "Godmothers in training," is now using the more inclusive "Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices.
But worst of all was the fact that, earlier this year, Disney took down Splash Mountain, a ride based on a Disney movie no one has seen in decades in order to replace it with a ride based on The Princess and the Frog, a movie kids today are familiar with and enjoy. Why? Because the movie it's based on, Song of the South, is super racist. Unfortunately, it is racist in a way Karol Markowicz does not understand, possibly because she's never seen the damn movie either.
Magic Kingdom closed the Splash Mountain ride because … well, no one is really sure why. The movie on which it is based is called "Song of the South," and the film is referred to as "controversial" in articles about the ride closing, but it’s unclear what that controversy is.
I had never seen the film, so I did extensive searching about why it’s verboten and finally found an article that asked, "Just How Racist Is Disney’s ‘Song of the South’?" Its conclusion: "It’s pretty bad."
I was ready to read about all the racist imagery or commentary in the movie but instead found that the problem is the movie was ahistorical. "The problem isn’t necessarily what Song of the South depicts, but what it chooses not to depict. Although Harris’ Uncle Remus stories were set in Georgia after the Civil War, the film adaptation never makes it clear when the story is taking place." And this is why kids can no longer go on a water ride at an amusement park?
Just gonna put this out there — wouldn't it be a tad odd to have a super perky Disney movie set in Germany during the Holocaust, in which life during that time was romanticized? Is there anyone that would think that was a good idea? Would anyone be singing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah across that particular backdrop? I'm gonna say no.
It's not just, by the way, the setting, but the romantic, idyllic depiction of plantation life, the racist stereotypes of Black people. The fact that the author took stories he at least claimed to have heard from actual slaves and then profited off of them. Walt Disney literally knew it was super racist and was going to be controversial while he was making it, which is why he kept trying to find Black and Communist screenwriters to make it less Uncle Tom-y, only they kept quitting because it was so incredibly offensive. And this was in 1946.
Closing down the ride, finally, netted Disney some good press — but it's also in their best financial interest to have rides based on movies people and children have actually seen. We're all sad when our favorite rides go away. I, myself, was particularly fond of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, which they no longer have at the Florida one, and the Norway one in Epcot that they replaced with some kind of ride based on Frozen. But I haven't been to Disney since high school and will probably never go again because I'm not a weird Disney adult, so it's no big loss to me.
Markowicz then tries to explain that she is just looking out for Disney here, because there is no pacifying the rabid Left and we will just keep wanting them to change things to make them more inclusive, which is of course horrible.
If Disney thinks it has pacified the wokesters, it’s mistaken. Walking around the parks with an eye on what the woke will target next is an exercise in finding "problematic" issues everywhere. Disney World bathroom signage at the parks still has depictions of dresses for girls and pants for boys.
Uh-oh! "[I]t’s a small world" uses the same stereotypical depictions of various cultures that Disney has informed us are unacceptable. The Hall of Presidents has much that it "chooses not to depict" about each man. There is no pacifying the rabid left, and the sooner Disney learns this, the better.
If anything, this is proof that there is no woke mob — or, at least, no woke mob protection racket. Because it's true, it's not like they pay us in pre-movie trigger warnings and we then protect them from ever being criticized by anyone again.
It's such a strange way of thinking, though I guess it makes sense if you are the kind of person who thinks it is bad to grow and learn and change and try to do better. Most of these types don't believe in evolution anyway.
Of course, Karol Markowicz and other anti-woke obsessives likely couldn't be placated or pacified either. Disney could do a grand retrospective of their most disconcertingly racist cinematic moments, base a whole ass ride on the crows from Dumbo and Markowicz would probably still be upset were they to do anything she considers "woke." Indeed, probably the only way someone like Markowicz could be "pacified" would be if the company rewound about 20 years at least and stayed there forever, never changing or doing anything new.
Of course, this would make it very difficult for them to make any money.
Markowicz has another issue with Disney, and that is that they are making things she personally disagrees with and is worried that her child may watch an episode of the Proud Family and start thinking private prisons are bad — which she believes will inevitably lead to their downfall.
The day we returned from Disney World, the story broke about the controversy involving Disney’s "Proud Family" cartoon. Clips from the show feature a far-left point of view and the pushing of leftist concepts like ending private prisons or paying reparations. It’s a show more interested in woke indoctrination than entertainment. Easy prediction: This show will fail, and Disney will lose ever more money trying to be woke.
We don’t want to hate Disney. We don’t want to see it destroyed. But the trust has been broken again and again. Parents feel like they have to closely monitor what Disney produces, lest the company sneak in just this kind of indoctrination to their children.
This is unsustainable. Those of us still hoping that Disney can reverse course lose a little of that hope every time the company does something clearly bad for its business. We may think of Disney as "too big to fail" today, but plenty of huge companies have collapsed after taking a wrong turn.
I would like to point out here that my mom absolutely did pay attention to what I was watching and discussed it with me when there was an issue with it. We had many awesome discussions when I was a kid about how many Disney princess movies send the wrong message to girls and how that can be damaging, about Barbies, about old movies with parts that were racist or sexist, about whether cartoon violence inured kids to real violence, etc. etc.. I learned to think critically about the media I consumed and I'm very grateful for that. I guess there's just no conservative version of that.
Also this week, Fox Across America host Jimmy Failla penned a seering takedown of America's favorite homophobic chicken sandwich restaurant, titled "Chick-fil-A's 'cauliflower filet' smacks of fowl play. Who needs a 'plant forward' sandwich?"
I don't know, vegetarians who hate gay people?
The entire premise of this is that it is bad that Chick-fil-A is making a sandwich he doesn't like and that making this particular sandwich means that the company is caving to the woke mob.
That's not a healthier sandwich, that's Cos Play, for people who really want a fried chicken sandwich but can't bring themselves to give up the "meat is murder" sticker on their Prius.
It goes too well with the "Hate Has No Home Here" and the one that says "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."
Earth to Chick-fil-A: stop this charade right now.
You are absolutely beloved by millions of people who consume your product like it's a religious experience.
And if you betray their faith, it's only a matter of time before customers start giving YOU the bird.
This is so similar in spirit to the Disney nonsense that I wouldn't have bothered to include it if it were not such an incredibly apt metaphor for what truly drives the American conservative. No one is taking this man's chicken sandwich away. His experience going to Chick-fil-A will not change, he can still go there and order whatever it is he orders there. But now they're just also making a sandwich for other people who might want something else, and this fills him with resentment and rage. He doesn't want people to have the sandwich they like, he wants them to have the sandwich he likes and to be happy with it.
I don't like cauliflower either and I love chicken sandwiches. In fact, I have plans to eat a chicken sandwich this very night. I have no interest in eating a pretend chicken sandwich that is actually cauliflower when I can have a real chicken sandwich instead. Good thing no one is making me!
This, ultimately, is what is at the heart of practically every conservative culture war issue. This is Happy Holidays, it's marriage equality, it's Drag Queen Story Hour, it's everything. It's not that they don't want to share it's that they want other people to have nothing, to either go along with what they like or to be excluded as punishment for failing to do so.
And damn, it's a sad way to live.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse