NINETY-NINE YEARS. So, Why are people mad at Disney?
That’s how long The Walt Disney Company has been in existence. Since its creation in 1923, many generations have watched Disney cartoons and movies. We have amazing and nostalgic cartoons like Snow White, Mulan, The Lion King, and countless others. Disney movies have been high in movie ratings for more than 84 years.
Adding to their movie-making success, over 50 years ago, the company opened a theme park, The Magic Kingdom, in Florida. There are now twelve Disney theme parks worldwide, each of which is a huge attraction site for visitors and family vacations.
So what’s with the latest buzz? Why are people mad at Disney? Where did the Disney family go wrong?
The “DON’T SAY GAY BILL”
Earlier this year, the Florida government passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents sexual orientation topics from being discussed in kindergarten to 3rd grade. When CEO Bob Chapek, and other Disney executives, didn’t issue a quick statement concerning the law, several Disney theme parks workers and cast members staged a protest condemning the law.
Several Disney employees made their way to The Center, an advocate for the LGBT+ community, in Orlando to leave messages of support for queer and non-straight children.
But when the company made a statement, it was too late. Rather than resolving the issue, this delay only further antagonized the conservatives who supported the bill, and they criticized Disney for conforming to “woke” ideals.
This controversial bill, and Disney’s inaction for some time, led to the park trending negatively on Twitter, with angry fans boycotting all things Disney and LGBTQ workers complaining of the company’s executives’ hypocrisy in funding the politicians who passed the bill. In return, the resort stopped contributing financial incentives to the Florida government.
Recent price increases at the Walt Disney World resort locations have made people upset with the company. Disney parks have long been the center of many family vacations. Children are delighted to go to Disney properties, and tens of thousands of people worldwide visit the resorts each year to create lasting memories. Price increases have greatly affected attendance at the parks.
Removing and replacing the free FastPass system with the more expensive Genie+ Lightning Lane system upset many people. Free FastPass was more affordable, faster, and more efficient than its replacement, which has technical issues and makes it difficult for people to skip wait time as its predecessor did.
The costs of resort stays have also exponentially increased, making it more difficult for families to book rooms for their vacation stay. A typical family of four now has to spend close to $4000 on accommodations alone. That is no small sum for a world and economy still recovering from a recession.
Disney World launched a new immersion adventurous voyage, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, which is one of a kind and different from previous immersion programs they’ve created in the past. Boosting a role-playing adventure throughout two nights, guests can choose their adventure inside a simulated experience built around the Star Wars world. As amazing as it is, however, many people have voiced their complaints about the theme parks shooting their prices high into space, making it difficult for most families to afford.
The Lightyear Controversy
If you look at things from another angle, it’s almost as if Disney has been getting into one drama after another, and all this has done is make people even more upset at them. Their most recent movie, Lightyear, features a same-sex kiss scene that sparked an outrage so high that Disney took the scene out. Doing that was, unfortunately, a move that pulled it even deeper into the chaos. For some time, Disney was trending online again, not for good reasons. The studio brought the scene back in response to the backlash received from supporting groups. It’s a tough time to be the Disney CEO.
Marvel’s VFX Pay Saga
Under Disney’s parent company, the Marvel Universe has raised a few eyebrows concerning the fee comic artists to receive for their work. The artists are supposedly overworked with unreasonable deadlines while remaining bound to old contract fee payments, which ought to have changed since the created superheroes’ expansion into a multi-billion franchise.
A few months back, a VFX artist called the company on Twitter about its toxic relationship with the artists who worked with it. This encouraged other artists to do the same. Just recently, Marvel studios got slammed as the worst studio to work with as a VFX artist, which is surprising, considering how successful the company is.
Not too long ago, Abigail Disney, grandniece of the park’s founder, publicly criticized the large difference in the pay of executives and that of employees. She has filmed a documentary, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, which looks into the lives of the underpaid workers, and how her family’s empire played a role in their working conditions. Disney’s response followed soon after her critique, calling the actions of the heiress “harsh and unfair.”
In 2021, thousands of workers filed a lawsuit against Disney seeking an increase in wages, but the suit was dismissed by a judge who ruled that Disney was not required to follow local living wages, and so the over 25,000 workers who filed the lawsuit lost the case.
Why Are People Mad At Disney?
So why are people mad at Disney? I think the examples above are pretty clear; Disney has been seemingly doing a lot more wrongs than rights lately. Being around for almost a century and providing years of memories and happiness to young and old alike, we hope they seriously address all these issues and more, so we can all go back to loving Disney the way we used to.