Disney’s selective soul
Disney, like many high-profile American corporations in recent years, has been lacing its films, shows and cultural offerings with social justice messaging, to the delight or irritation of various fan groups.
For anyone taken in by corporate virtue signaling, however, allow us to disillusion you: It's all about the bottom line.
Take Disney. For such a gilded company that professes loudly and sanctimoniously about human rights, institutional discrimination and the importance of representation, the social media-driven "#BoycottMulan" movement that flared up in the wake of the company's most recently released live-action adaptation must be embarrassing.
And it should be. The boycott movement's grievances focused on the fact that in the film's credits, Disney thanks a number of government entities in western most Xinjiang province, home to the country's Uighur population. The Uighurs are a Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic minority facing increasing persecution under the Chinese Communist Party. The United Nations has stated that more than 1 million Uighurs are being held in modern-day concentration camps.
Add to this the communist party’s speech-blocking of the social media hashtag #BoycottMulan and star actor Liu Yifei's public support for Hong Kong police, criticized for tactics in quelling pro-democracy protesters in recent months, and Disney has a full-on hypocritical rodeo on its hands.
According to this corporation, police brutality is America's greatest sin currently, but it's OK in China. Our democracy is eroding and must be protected, but never mind the Chinese Communist Party's imposition of "National Security Law" in Hong Kong this summer. The United States' treatment of minorities is disgusting, but turn the other cheek when China actively imprisons more than a million of its own citizens for posing a genetic and cultural threat.
The two-facedness is unbelievable.
Corporations like Disney should be ashamed of sacrificing their ethical standards for the sake of accessing the lucrative film market in China. If they're going to move into the business of selling virtue, they should condemn evil at home or abroad, regardless of the market value.
After all, if corporations are going to pretend to have souls, then they should show guilt when caught in acts of bad faith.
The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.
Stories that may interest you
Using a foreign government's price as a benchmark for reimbursements is a cop-out on two levels.
Rather than adding mandates to teach about individual groups and cultures, it is time to re-tool all history curriculum to be more inclusive.