I'm a mom and Disney has me rethinking everything about it

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Moms pushing back on Disney’s opposition to Florida parental rights law

New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz, B.E.S.T. Executive Director Laura Zorc, and Heroes of Liberty Editor Bethany Mandel addressed the nationwide fallout over Disney’s push against the legislation.

“Kids, we’re going to Disney World!” My husband and I made the announcement early last month. 

And now here we are, two highly political parents working in conservative media, watching Disney openly stake their position on issues we, as parents, care deeply about, namely the sexualization of children and childhood. 

In leaked video released by CRT activist journalist Chris Rufo, we see Disney executives proudly explain in an all-hands staff meeting, “In my little pocket of Proud Family Disney TVA, the showrunners were super welcoming . . . to my not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” executive producer for Disney Television Animation Latoya Raveneau said in a leaked video obtained by journalist Christopher Rufo. 

“Maybe it was that way in the past, but I guess something must have happened . . . and then like all that momentum that I felt, that sense of ‘I don’t have to be afraid to have these two characters kiss in the background.’”

“I was just, wherever I could, adding queerness,” Raveneau added. “No one would stop me, and no one was trying to stop me.”

Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, pledged to drastically alter the makeup of its characters, with at least 50 percent of its characters being LGBTQ or racial minorities by the end of the year.

My kids have taken a lot of hits for my political beliefs over their lives. Some might argue (myself included) that there have been too many. They’ve lost friendships when parents wouldn’t associate with us anymore, they changed teachers in a pottery class this week because the first teacher required masks and I believed it important to draw a line in the sand when it comes to masking low-risk children in low-risk settings two full years into COVID. 

So, I wasn’t going to take away a promised Disney trip because of these leaked admissions. 

And then I priced out the tickets for our family of seven. The youngest two of our five children are still free, but the total for four days of just park admission is over $2,550. That’s not counting food, airfare, or the hotel. Just to walk into the parks for half a week is more than our mortgage. If we stay on site, that’s five figures. Quite literally, we could go to Europe cheaper. Why visit Epcot’s France when we could just visit France? 

I had a realization when I ran those numbers. It became clear that my family isn’t the target audience for Disney any longer. My single girlfriends who visit Disney parks multiple times a year can actually afford to go. Our (admittedly large) family? Not so much. 

But that’s the parks. For the content, families are absolutely the backbone of the media arm of Disney. We’re the ones not just buying the movies, we’re the ones buying the branded clothes, dolls, toys, etc. Licensing makes up a huge portion of their profits, and it’s families driving those. It’s parents making those decisions, the purchasing power is ours. 

Which is what makes Disney’s decision to make ideological those stories so incomprehensible. With every passing year, I spend more time prescreening and reading reviews of children’s books, TV shows and movies. 

FILE — Fireworks go off around Cinderella’s castle during the grand opening ceremony for Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland in Lake Buena Vista, Florida December 6, 2012. 
(REUTERS/Scott Audette/File Photo)

It’s not something I enjoy doing with my free time. But I believe that what my children consume is of vital importance to their spiritual well-being. 

I don’t let them only eat junk food and I’d never let them consume poison, because I care about their physical health. It has been entrusted to me by God and I take that obligation seriously. 

I feel similarly about what they’re taking in when it comes to stories on screen and off; they form a foundation in a child’s mind about what they believe and who they are. I’m spending a lot of time and effort to raise my children, and I’m not open to Disney’s activism altering how they perceive the world, in direct conflict to what I’m trying to inculcate in my kids’ souls. 

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Last week, Rufo released another video. He explained on Twitter, “Disney production coordinator Allen March, who says his team is committed to “exploring queer stories” and promoting “trans,” “bisexual,” and “gender nonconforming” characters, says kids are “getting all this information from the media” and “there’s a lot of power to that.”” 

March is right. There is a lot of power to that, and I’m not giving it over willingly. 

FILE – Shoppers wear protective masks inside a Target Corp. store in New York, U.S., on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. Target is scheduled to release earnings figures on August 19. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

We’ve seen other companies take ideological stances. Dick’s Sporting Goods came out against gun rights and Target decided to institute all-gender bathrooms. Both decisions led to millions of families, like ours, taking their money elsewhere. 

It’s going to be the same story with Disney but even more pronounced. Dick’s and Target sell products, Disney sells stories and experiences. Whereas my decision not to patronize those stores was purely on principle, when it comes to Disney content moving forward, it’s about preserving our family’s values against what we view as indoctrination. 

My friend and New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz noted on Twitter last week, “It’s been several days now and @Disney has not responded to any of the criticism for their activism re Florida’s new law nor to the videos released by @realchrisrufo. Seems like they’ve decided on their path going forward.” 

That seems to be the reality. Disney has chosen to honor the creative direction driven by a hyper-woke elite subset of their California offices. Time will tell how much the rest of us, wholesome American families, will take our money elsewhere. But I wouldn’t go buying Disney stock, that’s for sure. 

As for us, we’ll place the money we’d have spent on that Disney vacation (we’ll go to LEGOLAND and SeaWorld instead, I’m not a monster) into a savings account for a trip to Europe or the Caribbean instead. And future movie nights will be spent on the classics. We’ll replace a movie theater experience with mini-golf instead. 

Our family life won’t be missing much without Disney, we’ll fill the gap, but Disney will come to miss customers like our family. 

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