Article
March 30, 2022

Disney Is Interested in Your Children

The entertainment company pledges to embed radical sexual politics in its children’s programming.

by Christopher F. Rufo

Last year, I reported on Disney’s critical race theory–based diversity program, which taught employees that American was founded on “systemic racism,” separated minorities into racially segregated “affinity groups,” and encouraged white employees to complete a “white privilege checklist.” Now, I have obtained exclusive video from inside Disney that outlines its campaign to embed left-wing sexual politics into its children’s programming and entertainment facilities.

In the wake of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation, which prevents public schools from promoting gender ideology in kindergarten through third grade but which critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney executives organized an all-hands meeting, called the “Reimagine Tomorrow Conversation Series,” and pledged to mobilize the entire corporation in service of the “LGBTQIA+ community.” Executives recruited the company’s most intersectional employees, including a “black, queer, and trans person,” a “bi-romantic asexual,” and “the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual child,” and announced ambitious new initiatives—seeking to change everything from gender pronouns at the company’s theme parks to the sexual orientation of background characters in the company’s films.

In a featured presentation at the meeting, executive producer Latoya Raveneau laid out Disney’s ideology in blunt terms. She said her team was implementing a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” and regularly “adding queerness” to children’s programming. Another speaker, production coordinator Allen Martsch, said his team has created a “tracker” to ensure that they are creating enough “canonical trans characters, canonical asexual characters, [and] canonical bisexual characters.” Corporate president Karey Burke said she supported having “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories” and reaffirmed the company’s pledge to make at least 50 percent of its on-screen characters sexual and racial minorities. Disney did not return request for comment.

The ideological campaign also extended to the company’s theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando. As diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware explained, Disney made the decision last year to eliminate all mentions of “ladies,” “gentlemen,” “boys,” and “girls” in order to create “that magical moment” for children who do not identify with traditional gender roles. “We don’t want to just assume because someone might be in, our interpretation, presenting as female, that they may not want to be called ‘princess,’” Ware said. By eliminating “gendered greetings,” Disney believes, the company can help make it “magical and memorable for everyone.”

Finally, Disney hosted Nadine Smith, the executive director of a pressure group called Equality Florida, who told employees that Governor Ron DeSantis and his press secretary, Christina Pushaw, wanted to “erase you,” “criminalize your existence,” and “take your kids”—a wild conspiracy theory with no basis in fact. The company’s executives threw their full weight behind Equality Florida’seffort, promising to use its significant political and financial resources to repeal the Parental Rights in Education law and the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which prohibits public and private institutions from racialist discrimination and abuse in classrooms and the workplace.

Last year, after my report on Disney’s critical race theory training program, Disney quickly deleted it from the company’s internal servers. But executives did not abandon identity politics. In fact, they added another component—gender ideology—and ramped it up. Executives have empowered activists within the company and now seem unable to resist their demands. Observers should watch Disney closely in the coming years. However the story ends, the company looks like a case study in ideological capture.

Originally published in City Journal.

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