“You know, when I was a kid, everybody looked forward to Sunday evenings and Disney,” reminisces Dr. Ben Carson, former Trump administration Secretary of HUD, in a new documentary just released by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Carson was referring, of course, to the long-running, family entertainment TV program created by that beloved American original, Walt Disney. It was a show and a brand that parents trusted, without reservation, to delight their children and leave their innocence untouched. Visits to Disneyland itself were a magical experience for all.
That was once upon a time. Today, Disney movies, shows, and parks are minefields of wokeness, which concerned parents navigate with trepidation to protect their kids from radical messaging and sexual grooming. “Walt Disney must be turning over in his grave,” Catholic League president and CEO Bill Donohue says in Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom, a 50-minute film which explores the Disney Company’s recent, rapid descent into gender madness. “Have we all lost our mind?”
Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom can be viewed for free at the Catholic League’s website, on YouTube, and at SalemNOW. It also will be available soon on Amazon Prime and on DVD. Executive produced by Donohue and filmmaker Jason Killian Meath, the CEO of Meath Television Media (he also wrote and directed the film), its all-star lineup of commentators includes Donohue himself; Ben Carson; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; New York Post columnist Miranda Devine; Media Research Center president Brent Bozell; Woke Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy; Washington Times film critic and author Christian Toto; and Freedom Center founder and bestselling author David Horowitz. Mercedes Schlapp, Cuban-American political commentator and former White House Director of Communications under President Trump, hosts the movie.
“We did this documentary so that the public can learn how the most family-friendly institution in the country has departed from its ways,” Donohue writes on the Catholic League site. “Our culture is in crisis, and what is driving much of it is a callous disregard for the innocence of children. Too many activists, celebrities and educators are bent on indoctrinating young boys and girls with some very sick ideas. Regrettably, Disney is one of the most guilty players.”
Guilty, indeed. Brent Bozell goes so far in the film as to call it “the anti-family studio,” thanks to its embrace of the cancerous gender ideology that is subverting the nuclear family, inculcating a sexual consciousness in children as young as kindergartners, and sowing a wave of gender confusion and transgender madness in impressionable young teens.
Gender ideology is the tip of the spear today of cultural Marxism, which posits that children belong to “the collective” and that the nuclear family must be “abolished” in order to free women and children from its slavery. Donohue shoots this down in the film with his once-commonsense assertion that “the state does not own the children. The children belong to the parents.” David Horowitz rightly adds that such indoctrination is “an atrocity against children, and Disney has allowed itself to become part of it.”
Longtime Disney cast members and employees who spoke on camera complained that a radical LGBT agenda gradually began to make its presence felt in the happiest workplace on earth, with workshops and lessons in diversity and tolerance. The movie explains that the Disney Company’s massive success originally stemmed from the culture of customer service it emphasized through “Four Keys”: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. But in April 2021, a fifth Key was added: Inclusion – by which was meant a push to celebrate and affirm the LGTB community. (As Donohue puts it in the film, “There’s a big difference between tolerance and affirmation.”)
That so-called inclusion, of course, quickly meant the intolerant exclusion of other communities: Christians and conservatives, as well as the social dissidents who refused to take the COVID vaccine, which the company mandated. One Disney employee of 16 years told the filmmakers, “It absolutely was not inclusion. It was compliance.” A gay employee who sought exemption from Disney’s vaccine mandate on religious grounds – he describes himself as a born-again Christian – was denied that exemption. A culture of fear swiftly spread throughout the ranks of employees who disagreed with Disney’s increasingly radicalized direction, and who feared for their livelihoods.
As the movie shows, Disney proceeded to eliminate “gendered language” from its theme parks. Gone were newly-offensive phrases like “boys and girls” and “ladies and gentlemen.” Tony Perkins correctly points out that “They dropped the term ‘boys and girls’ because they’re all in to this ideological leftist agenda that deconstructs the family, human sexuality, and ultimately, Western civilization.” This is concerning because Disney is a major player in terms of “shaping the culture,” as Perkins puts it.
Donohue concurs, noting that the “one thing that sends chills up the spines of the folks at Disney” is, “they don’t want to recognize nature, or nature’s God.” If you reject the Judeo-Christian value system that shaped our civilization, he argues, you’ve got to replace it with something, and in Disney’s case, it smacked of something satanic. Lest you think that is hyperbole, the film holds up as evidence Disney’s recent animated show Little Demon, centered on a teen girl who is the Antichrist.
The film goes on to remind viewers of the shocking leaked footage from a 2022 company-wide Zoom call in which TV animation executive producer Latoya Raveneau crowed giddily about Disney’s embrace of her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda.” She boasted, “Wherever I could I was adding queerness. No one would stop me.”
In that same Zoom call, Disney content executive Karey Burke, who proudly declared that she has one trans child and one “pansexual” child, vowed to shoot for the goal of at least fifty percent of Disney characters being LGBT or from racial minorities. Fifty percent or more. That’s not true or fair “representation” – that’s dominance.
The film then turns to Disney’s worrying commitment to the values of ESG – the environmental, social, and governance standards that virtue-signal a company’s level of social justice activism. Add that to the fact that Disney has inserted itself into world politics with dangerous and destructive positions, such as prostrating itself before human rights abuser China by altering its marketing to cater to the Communist regime’s illiberal standards while pushing a very Progressive agenda in the home market.
Disney took yet another step toward peak wokeness when it began slapping warning labels on its own streaming content to protect the easily offended from themes and characters that no longer accorded with our “inclusive” culture, like the supposedly “racist” depiction of Siamese cat characters in the classic animated movie Lady and the Tramp, or the romantic cis-heteronormative “stereotypes” of Cinderella.
Its LGBT activism eventually sparked a political war with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, one of the very few Republican politicians who understands how important it is to do battle with the Left in the cultural arena. When Disney’s losing war with DeSantis and increasingly pathetic box office returns began taking their toll on the company’s bottom line and reputation, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s close friend Bob Iger was brought in as chief to rescue it.
Iger claims in the film that he wants to listen to the customers, but is he listening to the children and parents who have made Disney legendary in entertainment for over half a century, or to a minority of bullying gender ideologues who are weaponizing the family-friendly company against the nuclear family?
Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom concludes by citing a poll showing that customer satisfaction and respect for the Disney brand have plunged from 77 percent to 51 percent in the last year alone. This confirms the simple truth, that a significant majority of parents do not want their children indoctrinated in gender ideology or any other social justice agenda by Disney. Entertainment critic Christian Toto states it plainly: political activism is “not what we want from Disney. We want entertainment.”
Will America ever again see the kind of day Ben Carson remembered fondly, when families can gather to enjoy Disney fare as wholesome entertainment devoid of radical messaging? The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue expresses the hope that one day Disney will “rethink its LGBT agenda and get back to treating kids as kids.”
Spreading the word about Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom to educate viewers about Disney’s woke agenda would be a big step toward that future.