Disney is in trouble. Rather than letting “Sleeping Beauty” rest, giving joy through innocent stories, good endings, and strong returns – they threw it all away and went “woke” on millions of dismayed parents, kids, and shareholders. Rather than celebrate life’s best, animating stories like Tchaikovsky’s 1890 classic, they went political. Must all be political, innocence trashed?
Maybe not – The life lesson that Disney is learning, after boldly condemning Florida’s attempt to allow parents of five to eight-year-olds the parental right to educate their own kids on “gender identity” (or not), is proving a tough one. Disney is losing respect, credibility, and money.
In short, Disney is becoming a bumper sticker for – “Go Woke, Go Broke.” Numbers – in just days – are stunning. What they show is that Americans are engaged, not docile, or willing to punt fundamental parental rights over childhood, even when told they must to be politically sensitive.
The mistake Disney made is assuming fear, politics, money, and social condemnation for not being a conformist can ever – ever – trump a parent’s love for their children.
If parents believe discussing sexual identity with a small child is necessary, within legal parameters, they can. But most do not. The notion that a government, school district, teachers’ union, or entertainment company can condemn and try to take rights from parents – is absurd.
This Florida law has nothing to do with whether a teen beyond puberty raises questions and seeks answers from parents, doctors, counselors, or teachers about sexual development, identity, physiology, or life practices. This law protects little children, period.
Disney – in effect – took a step too far, pushing the left’s endless deconstructionist, anti-traditional, government-rules agenda to absurdity. Trying to be avant-garde, they worked to be madder than prevailing madness, making the Mad Hatter look sane. Parents said “enough.”
Now, Disney is in trouble, spinning wheels like the Roadrunner’s circling legs, trying to get out this rabbit hole, and learning – while they teach others a sober lesson – that power, money, and arrogance cannot separate a loving parent from their God-given right to educate their child.
As of last week, the sky was falling. “Whether it is a case of arrogance or ignorance, Disney World and Netflix are feeling the financial impact of catering to the WOKE,” began one report. “Since this latest saga for Disney began, they have lost $34 Billion in value …” while Netflix “plummeted 35 percent just this week.”
As described in one analysis, Disney made “significant mistakes” which are “proving costly.” Among them, they “came out forcefully against the Parent’s Rights Bill recently signed by Governor DeSantis,” decrying the measure as anti-gay when “there is no mention of gay or any sexual orientation in the bill’s text.” They jumped the shark.
Accordingly, “Disney lost its way and went beyond its place as an entertainment company to join educators as indoctrinators.” The move is “not only causing an exodus from Disney streaming and park attendance, but it will cost them billions in lost special treatment that has been in place for a half-century in Florida.”
In short, “turning WOKE and against the State that has allowed them to build an empire will cost them billions in the future.” Others are learning this lesson at the same time.
So, where does overreach by government and non-government actors end? Is this the beginning? Will losses of billions of dollars from parental outrage reverse this cultural transformation tide?
Maybe. In the end, the government has enormous power. The federal government has been relentless under Democrat leadership in pressing pro-socialist, anti-parent, power-concentrating measures through multiple means, from executive orders to unaffordable spending.
The government-versus-parents dispute, which Disney awkwardly inserted itself, will cost them dearly. If any company should have thought twice, Disney is the one. That said, this is not over. The left does not quit; they continue to push, seeking to upend prevailing norms.
This win by parents in Florida – like the 2021 Virginia elections, which saw cross-over voting for Republican candidates – may be an inflection point. We will have to see, but dollars talk.
To apply a quip from Winston Churchill to our culture war in America: “This is not the end, not even the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning.”
The left aims to eclipse the power – constitutionally enshrined – of individual liberty, including parental rights. The problem – or saving grace – is that individuals and parents know their rights. Maybe Disney would have done better letting Sleeping Beauty sleep…not going WOKE.
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