How do people actually listen to Ben Shapiro?


The Gay Agenda? Or the Disney Agenda?

I saw an ad with Ben Shapiro in it on YouTube. I was quick, I only saw 5 seconds of it before I clicked it off. But wait, what was he complaining about? Disney? Disney, mega-corporation, monopolist, and enforcer of traditional values, is a radical leftist organization? That high-pitched, rapid-fire, nasal voice had succeeded in drilling into my brain. I had to look it up.

So I read a Shapiro op-ed.

In late March, reporter Christopher Rufo…

Yikes, I only got six words in before I had to use the puke bucket next to my desk. This is going to be hard. I’ll try again.

In late March, reporter Christopher Rufo released footage of top Disney employees vowing to inject their radical LGBTQ agenda into children’s programming.

Disney producer Latoya Raveneau told an all-hands meeting that her team works to push a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” in programming aimed at kids and sought to add “queerness” to such content. Disney corporate president Karey Burke announced that she was the mother of “one transgender child and one pansexual child” and that she would try to achieve a quota system whereby half of all Disney characters would be LGBTQ or people of color. Disney diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware stated that Disney’s beloved theme parks would be eliminating any mention of “ladies and gentlemen” or “boys and girls.”

Oh, really? You mean Disney is trying to broaden their reach and convince gay people to spend money on their product? I thought Shapiro loved capitalism! That’s all this is! Diversity pays, you know.

OK, look, I got through a whole two paragraphs of Shapiro. Let’s take a break and look up this terrible “queerness” video, and also get refreshed with the happy enthusiasm of Latoya Raveneau.

That’s on the channel of a right-winger and the comments are full of people talking about “groomers”, but ignore that. This is a Disney-branded promotional video. Shapiro talks about this as if it is a deep dark secret that Ace Reporter Rufo broke to the public, but it’s no big deal. It’s something Disney was proud of. What’s the problem?

It’s an opportunity for Shapiro to ramp up the hysteria.

This prompted a well-deserved firestorm for the Mouse House. Disney has long been left-wing on social issues — but in the aftermath of ginned-up controversy surrounding Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which protects small children from indoctrination on sexual orientation and gender identity, an angry coterie of employees pushed management to signal fealty even harder. So Disney’s brass did, announcing that they opposed the Florida bill and then turning over the company to its most radical contingent.

For indoctrination on sexual orientation and gender identity, read “teaching tolerance and acceptance”. Shapiro hates that. It’s not radical for people to reject the screaming homophobia of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, it’s actually a minimally humane position to take. Also, the “Happiest Place on Earth” would kind of like to avoid being identified as the “hatefulest place in America”, a title Florida and Texas are vying for.

The Left, caught with its hand in the kiddie jar, immediately swiveled and accused the Right of initiating this culture war. Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times lamented that she felt terrible for Raveneau, who, after all, was just “step[ping] up to defend the company’s queer friendliness, only to become a national object of right-wing fury and disgust,” and whose injection of LGBTQ propaganda into children’s content was “sweetly anodyne.”

Yeah. Watch the video. She was talking about allowing two cartoon characters of the same sex kiss in the background. It is pretty anodyne stuff, unless you’re one of those frothing fanatics who gets upset at the sight of two men possibly holding hands. Disney is not ever going to promote, say, a line of gay porn children’s cartoons.

For decades, the social Left has made inroads by arguing that they simply want to be left alone. The Right, by contrast, has argued that the Left’s agenda is far broader, that the Left demands cultural celebration of its sexual mores and that it will stop at nothing to remake society in order to achieve its narcissistic goals. Disney’s latest foray into the culture wars proves that the Right was correct, that the Left’s stated agenda was a lie and that its “not-at-all-secret” agenda targeted the most vulnerable Americans.

Disney shows no signs of backing away from the extremism its all-hands meeting unmasked before the world. And other corporations are following Disney’s lead, pushing wild Left advocacy instead of catering to the broadest possible market.

For narcissistic goals, read “request that you stop killing gay and trans people”. The most vulnerable Americans are the kids who don’t fit the conservative norm, who are bullied and abused, sometimes rejected by their families, treated as evil by people like Shapiro. Normalizing being different is not an attempt to recruit more people into a gay lifestyle — you can be whoever you want to be, which used to be an American ideal — it’s to get the people poisoned by the Shapiroesque mentality to stop harming them.

Society is already diverse, it’s not extremism to recognize that fact, nor is it wild Left advocacy. Cranky ol’ Ben is just going to have to wake up to the reality-based truth that 13% of the population are black, 13% are Hispanic, 7% are openly gay, 9% do not believe in gods, and that they all have a right to pursue happiness in America.

Disney and all those other corporations aren’t being Leftist, they see those percentages as slices of market share that they must absorb. Nothing more. They are steps on the path to total capitalistic domination.

You are meddling with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Shapiro. And also being kind of an ass.

Comments

  1. cartomancer says

    First of all, cards on the table, I have never liked Disney. Even as a child I thought it produced only badly-made, anodyne crap with no redeeming features. Growing up, it epitomised everything I hated about American culture – the blandness, the heavy-handedness, the lack of subtlety, the lack of depth. To this day, I don’t think I have ever actually sat through any of their films.

    But trying to make out that there is anything even remotely progressive about the company as a whole is an entire new level of stupid. This being a company that has resisted LGBT+ representation with every ounce of its corporate being right up to the present day. Even going so far as to forcibly remove any and all LGBT content from its films, e.g.

    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2022/03/10/disney-gay-lgbt-pixar/

    Of course, the right-wing internet moronsphere doesn’t care about any of that, given that it has no legitimate complaints about the world, only about a made-up workd in its own gestalt fever-dream.

  2. Susan Montgomery says

    @1 does everything have to be pretentious European art-house dreck?

    I’ve never gotten the Disney hate coming from the left.

  3. says

    Growing up, it epitomised everything I hated about American culture – the blandness, the heavy-handedness, the lack of subtlety, the lack of depth. To this day, I don’t think I have ever actually sat through any of their films.

    ‘I hate the movies I have never watched” is an interesting position to take.

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    aaronpound @3: “never sat through” is not the same as “never watched”.

    Can you only dislike a movie after watching all of it? Or a book you haven’t read all the way through?

  5. raven says

    On c’mon.
    I’m sure a lot of people here have watched Fantasia.

    Fantasia
    Released in 1940, represented Disney’s boldest experiment to date. Bringing to life his vision of blending animated imagery with classical music. What had begun as a vehicle to enhance Mickey Mouse’s career blossomed into a full-blown feature that remains unique in the history of animation.

    As a kid I watched the animated Disney films and watched the Mickey Mouse show a few times here and there.
    I barely remember any of it. Probably because it was bland and mildly entertaining but not worth remembering.

  6. hemidactylus says

    There could be a leftish argument that Disney is commodifying LGBTQ+ culture or assimilating it as some sort of Debordian recuperation.

    OTOH I recall Disney movies having subtle adult themed elements here and there, a sort of subversive undercurrent or way of appealing to parents with a secondary storyline.

  7. cartomancer says

    I think a lot of people from America don’t realise that, to the rest of the world, Disney is seen through a very different lens. It’s seen as a foreign cultural import, an omnipresent and unwelcome tentacle of an imperial culture that jars with our own. This manifests in different ways in different places of course – South American cultures have very different ways of hating US cultural intrusions than European ones, for instance. This is far from just being a conscious, intellectual critique – it’s something we feel on a visceral level too. And it is present in our societies in a much more overt and obtrusive way than, say European art-house cinema, or Bollywood films, or Japanese anime. We can leave all that well alone if we choose to. Disney is rammed in our faces by cultural institutions all the time. As are Hollywood films of all kinds.

  8. HidariMak says

    Considering how Marvel is a property of Disney, I wonder if the “right wing” crowd of Disney bashers will start peeling the “Punisher” skull stickers from their trucks and signs now.

  9. Susan Montgomery says

    @7. Maybe it’s”rammed” because people simply like it. Not everyone who prefers things you don’t does so under compulsion

    @6. I see commodification as a positive step. I like that companies that, 35 years ago, would have sued the bejesus out of a Pride parade organizer who might have vaguely implied endorsement are now lining up to spend money for sponsorship deals.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    I grew up with the comics penned by Carl Barks (I am old).
    Whatever crap Disney is producing, they can never take that away from me. Carl Barks somehow both entertained and triggered the curiosity of the growing brain, I credit him with giving me a stronger imagination and curiosity than I might otherwise have had.

  11. birgerjohansson says

    I don’t recall Ben Shapiro, all those idiot liar scaremongers you have over there tend to blend together after a while.
    It is bad enough with our European ones, some of which are bona fide fascists – we can today see one of them making a bid for the French presidency. Aaargh!

  12. Alverant says

    @2 I think it has to do with how much Disney owns/controls and how aggressive it can be in “protecting” their profits. For example, they have bribed their way into having the IP laws modified in their favor. Mickey Mouse should be public domain by now, but it isn’t due to Disney throwing its money around. Meanwhile they steal from other people and act like it was theirs all along. Lion King, Zootopia, Disney even stole Star Wars fan art.

    Disney owns so much of our culture that people are concerned about Disney abusing their power.

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    To my (older USAian) eye, the interesting thing about Disney over the last generation is their pivot to girls and women.

    Frozen, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Moana … nearly all the big-deal Disney animations since Aladdin have starred females. Likewise, they put women in the center of their Star Wars films and even gave Captain Marvel a heavy shot of estrogen.

    No doubt all this reflects explicit calculations about marketing and merchandising, but it still has cultural impacts beyond that. Perhaps Ben Shapiro feels neglected and rejected for having nothing he can see himself in but Toy Story retreads.

  14. says

    The whole Disney thing got on my radar too–because I keep track of asexuality in the news, and Latoya had, in another clip, identified as asexual.

    Disney is a really big company, and even if the company as a whole is cautious and conservative, it doesn’t surprise me at all that some people in the company–especially those who would be invited to speak at a DEI summit–would express progressive values or a desire to have queerness represented. I’m happy for Raveneau’s experience of encountering a lot less internal resistance than she expected. I hope that experience doesn’t change in light of the conservative backlash to her talk.

  15. opposablethumbs says

    pretentious European art-house dreck
    oooh, that’s us non-disneyphiles told, eh! (because those are the only two alternatives in existence, after all). Pretentious like Wallace and Gromit, art-house like The Full Monty, dreck like the Bond franchise (well, no, you do have a point there come to think of it).
    (not to mention that comedies and action films and even the usual copaganda bollocks don’t have to be in English. I don’t think Taxi was very art-house either)

    As Cartomancer says, Hollywood in general and Disney in particular tend to get rammed down our throats ad nauseam – mainly due to the sheer scale of the business, so they’re self-fulfillingly familiar and relatively cheap to import (with no dubbing or subtitling costs for the UK market either) – to the effective exclusion of most of the indy, less formulaic and/or more imaginative films that must be getting made in such a huge economy as the US. And if the diet is too formulaic it cloys after a while.

    Me, I happen to like watching cop shows – popular, mass-audience, look-out-for-the-copaganda and all – I just can’t stomach the USAnian ones we get here any more, it’s like a surfeit of lampreys or something, there’s only so many ways you can serve the same fish. (The Team from a few years back was pretty gripping; Swiss-Austrian-German-Belgian-Danish-Swedish co-production, cops and villains everywhere, completely different flavour and not an art-house in sight ¯_(ツ)_/¯ )

  16. says

    I fantasize about somehow triggering a feud between Shapiro and Jordan Peterson, then pulling Sam Harris or Stephen Fry in to clarify things and spread chum on the water.

  17. says

    I think a lot of people from America don’t realise that, to the rest of the world, Disney is seen through a very different lens. It’s seen as a foreign cultural import, an omnipresent and unwelcome tentacle of an imperial culture that jars with our own.

    It only sells in “the rest of the world” because people in the rest of the world consume it. Someone in those cultures seems to like what they are offering.

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    aaronpound @18:

    It only sells in “the rest of the world” because people in the rest of the world consume it

    Like tobacco. And heroin.

  19. says

    Like tobacco. And heroin.

    Remind me again how Disney movies create addiction dependency?

    Your comparison is so stupid it hurts.

  20. says

    if anyone wants to see that RSN article, in comment 20, wait a while. They temporarily put up a blocking screen because they aren’t getting any financial support. Sorry for any inconvenience. The article is quite thoroughly researched and pointed in it’s criticism of the ‘sheople consumers’ and their corporate overloards.

  21. KG says

    I’m astonished by the naivete of those who think that what people Ilike is completely independent of what they’ve had served up to them by commercial and political interests since earliest childhood.

  22. says

    if anyone wants to see that RSN article, in comment 20 the temporary blocking screen is gone. And while the article will upset ‘credit card rewards junkies’ it is very thoroughly researched and important.

  23. unclefrogy says

    I do not know about the cultural stuff concerning ‘The Mouse” they have always seemed aggressively conventional to me in that regard with a very strong eye on the bottom line. Anything that threatens their image is trouble. They want to be seen as really nice and have the legal team to back that up. They have been around for a long time and spent much of that time cultivating the middle, you would be fool to go and pick a fight with “The Mouse”.

  24. says

    you would be fool to go and pick a fight with “The Mouse”.

    Harlan Ellison’s account of the hour and a half or so that he worked for Disney is written up in a short story he called “you don’t fuck with the mouse” – it’s probably on the internet somewhere.

  25. springa73 says

    I’m with Susan Montgomery and aaronpound. There’s plenty negative you can reasonably say about Disney, but they wouldn’t be so popular if they didn’t make entertainment that lots of people like. “Cultural imperialism” sounds a lot like conspiracy-theory bs to me. If people don’t like Hollywood and Disney, all they have to do is not watch the stuff. Some commenters are basically upset because a lot of other people like stuff that they don’t. I can sympathize – I’m not a big fan of most of what Disney or other mainstream US entertainment media put out. Still, you have to come to terms with the fact that lots of people like stuff that you think is garbage, without invoking bogeymen and conspiracies.

  26. marner says

    @21

    Remind me again how Disney movies create addiction dependency?

    Try showing Frozen to a 4 year old. jk

  27. marner says

    You may have already seen this, but speaking of Frozen and the ubiquity of Disney, watch this Ukrainian child sing “Let It Go” in a bomb shelter. She is now safe in Poland.

  28. springa73 says

    Regarding the original post, most of these right-wing types are only fans of capitalism and corporations until a corporation does something, however mild, that conflicts with one of their prejudiced views on social issues. Then it becomes a sinister conspiracy.

    Of course, the main conspiracy that corporations are engaged in is making as much money as possible, so they will start to become more progressive on social issues when they calculate that a conservative position has become less profitable than a progressive one.

  29. says

    I’m a bit surprised that people are arguing about whether Disney movies are good or not, that kind of seems neither here nor there. Latoya Raveneau is the executive producer of an upcoming reboot of “The Proud Family”. That was a cartoon show that was on when I was a teenager, focused on a Black family. It’s not exactly Frozen.

    US cultural imperialism is obviously a real thing, and you don’t even have to dislike Disney to recognize that. And if someone doesn’t like Disney I don’t think they need internetters to come to their “defense”. Disney has its own marketing budget they can do it themselves.

  30. uncategory says

    Some RWNJs who are upset with the Mouse’s alleged gay agenda are recommending that people go to Dollywood instead. They are clearly as misinformed about the delightful Ms Parton’s view on LGBT issues as they are about everything else.

  31. birgerjohansson says

    Uncategory @ 32
    This is the kind of incompetence that may make it possible for the rest of us to save the world from the ☆$¥ bastards.

  32. Susan Montgomery says

    @16. So, what would you suggest? Some sort of North Korea-style isolation? Culture isn’t genetic (well, PZ, is it? Don’t want to speak out of turn) or predestined. And – as my video collection of Red Dwarf, Inspector Morse, Benny Hill and much more demonstrates – it’s far from one way.

    @31. The term itself implies some deliberate, sinister intent on someone’s part. I don’t see that.

  33. says

    @Susan Montgomery,

    A recent notable pattern in the Hollywood film industry is catering to Chinese audiences, because they make big bucks over there. That means satisfying Chinese censors, involving famous Chinese actors, featuring scenes that occur in China, and more. Lots of US audiences complain about this because what Chinese audiences like is not the same as what US audiences like. And progressives complain that this results in (at best) brief moments of same-sex affection that Disney can market heavily in the US but edit out of the Chinese version.

    Those complaints are fair, but the influence China has is still rather limited. Hollywood still has executive control. But imagine that the movies were entirely produced abroad, with no influence from your own culture whatsoever. That’s what it’s like for people outside the US. I neither like or dislike Disney, I just don’t care, but it seems entirely fair for people to complain about it? And that’s what cultural imperialism looks like.

  34. Susan Montgomery says

    @35. Let’s define”culture” before getting into that discussion. I know it seems like navel-gazing but it may help if we’re both on the same page.

  35. Alan G. Humphrey says

    @ Susan Montgomery
    I feel confident that my culture was predestined more so than my sex and mostly formed before my parents were conceived. Think of it this way, I got my culture from my parents and family, their parents and families, and the locations of where they all grew up. Mostly in place and determined before my conception. Then, as I grew up, I absorbed that culture of my family and the environments in which I found myself. I remember who controlled the TV tuner until I got my own, and the radio knob in the car when we drove cross country to our next residence. Talk about getting culture shoved down your throat.

  36. William George says

    I just want to applaud you for getting through Ben Shapiro’s brain diarrhea even in text form. Treat yourself to a drink.

  37. says

    @aaronpound #3

    When I sit down at breakfast and unfortunately bite into a rotten egg, I need not finish it to call it bad.

    @Susan Montgomery #4

    Disney would prefer a world in which no non-franchise and/or branded films exists at all. It is cromulent to hate on Disney because their market dominance-especially the subcinema of the MCU-is choking the life out of middle-brow films and nonbranded tentpoles. If the Oscars and the award circuit didn’t exist, all but two of the BP nominees wouldn’t exist and the entire set of films are better than anything Non-Pixar Disney has done in years.

    To my knowledge there hasn’t been a truly nonbranded tentpole released in the last 5 years. Even something like Dune-a good but fundamentally unsatisfying film-leans heavily into being the start of a franchise. It is virtually impossible where I live-a trumpist suburb-to see anything remotely more sophisticated than the cinematic form of a big mac in the theater. If I want to go to a theatre-which I like to do because of the theatre experience-I have to go to a Disney film half the time. People watch what is available. Disney only wants Disney products (I mean this disdainfully) available.

    Disney and Pixar dominance in US animation has also prevented Americans from realizing that animation can be primarily or exclusively for adults-to the ill of the medium. To the point the premier industry event-the Oscars-mocked animation as for “kids” when handing out their big animation award this year. It was particularly grating in context because Flee-one of the very best films of this year and better than all but one of the BP nominations-was snubbed for the weak and utterly conventional Encanto. Flee is an animated documentary that tells the immigration and coming out narratives of a Gay Afghan in uncommon clarity and power. It is more hauntingly beautiful in its animation than anything Disney has done in decades (including the Disney revival starting in the late 80’s with the Little Mermaid.)

    Disney also shielded at least two pig monsters with Harvey Weinstein (Miramax) and John Lasseter (Pixar) being under the Disney umbrella for literally decades.

  38. cartomancer says

    Disney’s role in US cultural imperialism as capitalistic propaganda has been documented and discussed for half a century or more. There is a huge amount of literature and scholarship on the subject in Cultural Studies circles.

    The foundational text is probably Dorfman and Mattelart’s “How to read Donald Duck”, published in Chile in 1971 during the brief reign of the Allende government and banned by the (US backed) Pinochet dictatorship afterwards. I mentioned South America in my original comment, because where UK viewers like myself might find the sensibilities of Disney cloying and crude, Chilean viewers have found them actively abrasive and destructive to their native culture.

  39. Kreator P says

    cartomancer, #40:

    I mentioned South America in my original comment, because […] Chilean viewers have found them actively abrasive and destructive to their native culture.

    This sounds like an exaggeration born from a controversy in 1942, when Disney’s film “Saludos Amigos” offended many Chilean people because they felt that they were poorly represented by the character of Pedrito the Plane in comparison to the characters that represented other countries from the region, like Brazil’s José Carioca (a character whose adventures have kept Disney comics incredibly relevant to this day in that country, so perhaps Pedrito really was that bland). This leads me to believe that the book “How to read Donald Duck” is probably just an extension of that frankly silly controversy and that it shouldn’t be taken seriously, and further research about it seems to confirm it. Disney comics have actually been immensely popular in South America for a long time. In Argentina, they only disappeared at a moment during the 90’s in which our entire comic book and magazine industries went in decline and almost died.

    Going back to Ben Shapiro, I recently found that a new book by an Argentinian right-wing journalist included a blurb written by him, and I couldn’t help but think “damn, the disease sure is spreading”.

  40. John Morales says

    Kreator,

    Going back to Ben Shapiro, I recently found that a new book by an Argentinian right-wing journalist included a blurb written by him, and I couldn’t help but think “damn, the disease sure is spreading”.

    Um, the comment to which you retorted and quoted began thus: “Disney’s role in US cultural imperialism […]”

    (Does not blurb by Ben Shapiro on a new book by an Argentinian right-wing journalist count as evidence for cultural imperialism? A different disease, in your mind)

  41. lotharloo says

    A lot of people hate Disney because it’s part of American cultural hegemony, like Coca Cola, like McDonalds and other American products that are absolute shit, pure garbage, and devoid any redeemable qualities which are also marketed globally to infect other countries.

    Even if they sprinkle a bit of Gay, Queer and blah blah in their shit products, it’s all fucking salad dressing. They are still exporting stupid American culture with its selfish and self-centered point of view.

  42. KG says

    Kreator P@41,
    How to Read Donald Duck is not about how people in Latin America hate Disney. It’s about how Disney (and specifically, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse etc.) inculcate pro-capitalist values and racist/imperialist stereotypes. This doesn’t need to be a conscious conspiracy – simply, the vast majority of those working for Disney share(d) those values and stereotypes.

  43. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ariel Dorfman is one of those writers I know I would have read more, if I weren’t so bloody lazy. I’ll put that book on my list. I will put a plug in for the 1994 adaptation of his play Death and the Maiden, with the caveat that it was directed by Roman Polanski.

  44. bossrocket says

    @39 One thing I have to add here that doesn’t get discussed nearly enough is that the Annie Awards – while not perfect – are really the true awards show of animation. They have categorical awards like Best Voice Acting, Best Screenplay, Best Animated Short Subject, etc. and treat animation as the medium that it is, instead of a genre. If a big studio movie does win in a long-form category, it’s typically one that displays more creativity than fairytale/superhero fare and stands out (How To Train Your Dragon, Wreck-It Ralph, etc.). In contrast, the Oscars fling a rushed, generic “Best Animated Feature” at whatever movie has the most singing princesses in it like flinging scraps off the dinner table to an elderly dog.

    But instead of the Annies being televised and letting the Oscars only handle live-action (considering the latter’s dartboard-picked animated movies and backhanded “hurrdurr animation is kiddie cArToOnZ” insults in the process from the judges who aren’t even required to watch the movies, whereas live-action film gets more respectful treatment), there’s this idea that the Annies are unnecessary and the Oscars are somehow the “default” arbiter of value for all mediums within film, which is ass-backwards when it comes to animation as mentioned above. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where an animated film’s Oscar nomination is bragged about and celebrated while its multiple Annie wins are ignored, furthering obscurity.

    I imagine this doesn’t help the association that animation is somehow inherently a kids’ medium. And it also doesn’t help the obnoxious conflation of “all-ages” media with “kids'” media, where people make no distinction between something that merely includes kids in its audience (being nonviolent or nonsexual) while still fully appealing to adults, versus being Paw Patrol: The Movie or something like that.

  45. Susan Montgomery says

    @37. You can say the same thing about religion. And, just as you can choosr to deny or embrace a spiritual belief that you grew up with, you can do the same with whatever culture you were raised in.

    And culture itself will change regardless of what you prefer. People are always in motion and the culture around them adjusts to that motion.

    @39. How is it Disney’s fault that more people prefer cheeseburgers over escargot? They’re selling what the public wants to buy, after all.

  46. says

    There’s plenty negative you can reasonably say about Disney, but they wouldn’t be so popular if they didn’t make entertainment that lots of people like.

    They’ve made themselves ubiquitous and produced something that fills a gap that others hadn’t filled yet. That’s not quite the same as “making something that people like.” There were two relatively new entertainment media, movies and TV; people wanted something on those media for kids; and Disney got in at the start and produced LOTS of stuff for kids; and people watched it because that was what was most reliably available. That’s not necessarily a totally bad thing — many people credit Disney for setting a standard for high-quality, reliably-wholesome content; but it should not be confused with “producing what people liked,” partly because many people simply don’t know in advance what they want or would like until they see it, and can’t be expected to know what possible alternatives there are other than what they’ve been given.

    MY biggest complaint about Disney is their longstanding habit of flat-out stealing stories, ideas and characters from other cultures, repackaging and profiting from it as if they were entirely Disney’s creation, and using high-powered lawyers to marginalize and silence the people who actually created their stuff. I’m all in favor of borrowing and reimagining old stories, but FFS, give credit (and share profit) where it’s due — is that really such an onerous demand?

  47. Susan Montgomery says

    @48. Are they any worse than anyone else? As I mentioned elsewhere, if you went solely by his business practices, you’d never know that Roger Waters was a bleeding-heart leftie. The sort of behavior you describe is endemic to show biz in general.

    And, again, are you sure you’re not mistaking your own personal preferences for some objective standard?

  48. says

    “Endemic to show biz in general” does not mean “excusable” or “not subject to criticism.”

    And I’m not really seeing where I’m “mistaking your own personal preferences for some objective standard.” I’m merely pointing out that companies like Disney don’t just perceive and respond to people’s preferences; they also inevitably INFLUENCE people’s preferences, knowingly or not, intentionally or not, whenever they choose what to publish or not publish. It’s never as simple as “giving people what they want.” Oftentimes neither the people nor the entertainment companies have ANY CLUE what people “want” until something comes out and we wee how people respond to it.

  49. says

    @29: Damn strong voice for a girl that age. I don’t know a word of Ukrainian, but it seems like she left out “the cold never bothered me anyway.” Was it an abridged version of the song?

  50. KG says

    You can say the same thing about religion. And, just as you can choosr to deny or embrace a spiritual belief that you grew up with, you can do the same with whatever culture you were raised in. – Susan Montgomery@47

    You can. But most people don’t. There are, for example, more Christians than Hindus in the USA, and more Hindus than Christians in India, just as there were a generation, two generations, three generations… ago. The beliefs, values, preferences people are brought up on, are likely to persist into adulthood and be passed on. Of course societal-level change can happen, and it often does so when an external but high-prestige agency or agencies pushes for it to happen, for religious, commercial or political motives. None of this should really be controversial to anyone who actually takes any notice of the real world.

  51. lotharloo says

    @Susan Montgomery:

    You are giving some of the most brain dead defenses of the giant capitalist companies. “They are just producing what people like”, as if those companies don’t do aggressive advertisement, market manipulation, worker exploitation, resource extraction from poorer counties and countless other shitty practices. Nah, “tHey JuST MakE whaT PeoPlE LikE bro!”

  52. logicalcat says

    @54

    What resource do they extract from poorer countries and why is that uniquely capitalist when even the Soviet Uniom during its height did the same thing.

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