". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Disney Director Calls for ‘Course Correction’ that Doesn’t Include Getting Rid of Sexual ‘Agendas’

May 28, 2024

As Disney sought to make LGBT ideology their priority, which the company admitted to doing, the Magic Kingdom almost immediately faced declines in sales and fierce customer backlash. For the last few years, this pushback has come in the form of boycotts, lawsuits, and even states pulling their investments.

Some of the messages Disney has chosen to promote includes the infamous same-sex kiss between two female characters in their 2022 film, “Lightyear,” their promotion of drag shows on their streaming platform, Disney+, as well as other examples of LGBT-centered agendas. As The Washington Stand reported earlier this month, a Rasmussen Reports national survey found “71% of American adults agree that Disney ‘should return to wholesome programming and allow parents to decide when their children are taught about sexuality.’” Given public opinion, observers wondered if it was good news when Disney director John Musker said the company was due for some “course correction.”

“The classic Disney films didn’t start out trying to have a message,” Musker pointed out. “They wanted you to get involved in the characters and the story and the world, and I think that’s still the heart of it.” He went on to say that the company, which also eliminated the use of “gender greetings” last year to promote LGBT inclusion, wasn’t “trying to be woke.” Rather, Musker believes a bit of rearranging their priorities would do them some good. However, as the director of “The Little Mermaid” would go on to emphasize, this course correction doesn’t mean they “have to exclude agendas.” As far as Musker is concerned, promoting agendas is fine, so long as it comes “behind entertainment and compelling story and engaging characters.”

But it would seem his advice is not as cut and dry as the “Aladdin” director may have believed it to be. As Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon shared with TWS, “Disney needs to decide whether they want to serve the public on the whole, or just certain segments of it.” That’s because, as the Rasmussen report demonstrated, most Americans aren’t interested in the agenda Disney has been advertising — regardless of where the issues fall on their list of priorities.

In further comment to TWS, David Closson, FRC’s director of the Center for Biblical Worldview, shared his insight into how believers can respond to Disney’s alleged “course correction.” “Over the last few years,” Closson noted, “the Disney corporation has been unmasked for who they truly are: a left-wing, activist organization that has become the mouthpiece for some of the most progressive ideologies in American society.” That said, “Disney is ultimately a business,” and “they’ve learned the hard way that their radical stances have cost the company” a lot in recent years.

However, Closson emphasized that rather than pulling back on the very messaging causing their demise, “Disney is doubling down on their promotion of ideologies.” So, in one sense, Closson argued that nothing has changed within the worldview of the organization at large. But in another sense, how Disney is marketing their ideology may look a little different.

 “Disney has made it clear that any course correction they make in the coming weeks, months, or years is not out of any change of moral conviction,” Closson said. “Any course correction Disney takes is because they realize that they’ve irreparably hurt their bottom line and they want to be more subtle and careful about smuggling in their moral agenda.” But ultimately, he insisted, “Disney is not going to change the messages that they endorse or condone.” The only change we can likely expect is that they may “get a little bit more clever or subtle about disguising these messages.”

As Kilgannon stated, “If they are going to advance the interests of particular interest groups over the mainstream, the market will respond.” What kind of responses could be expected? Closson encouraged Christians specifically to respond with wisdom and discernment. “Christian parents should not be deceived,” he warned. “Disney doesn’t believe that a course correction must include excluding agendas because they’re confident that, at the end of the day, their moral vision of what is right and wrong will ultimately succeed.” And the last several years particularly, Closson highlighted, have only affirmed this “stark truth.”

 He believes parents need to understand that “Disney is in the business of catechizing and discipling the next generation of children,” and “their version of discipleship is contrary to a biblical worldview.” And the reality is, he added, “If left unchecked, Disney will successfully shape the moral imagination of the next generation to call evil good and good evil.”

Closson concluded, “Parents, beware. Disney is making clear that they have no intention to change course when it comes to the entertainment we allow our children to consume.” If anything, “It’s the parents who should make a course correction away from Disney.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.