March 07, 2017
If you're looking for conservative values at Disney, it really is a small world after all. The company, which bears almost no resemblance to the man who created it, has transformed from a beloved American icon to one of the most reliable voices for the radical Left. From "gay days" at the theme park to its public opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, it's no secret who those mouse ears have been listening to.
Now, two decades into its activism, the company is breaking new ground with an intentional nod to LGBT activists. In its new Beauty and the Beast remake, Disney decided to throw in some gratuitous political propaganda when the character LeFou dances away with another man. Director Bill Condon describes it this way, saying that the character "is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston." He "makes something really subtle and delicious out of it - [I]t is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie." But not everyone thinks it's as "nice" as Condon.
Some businesses are taking matters into their own hands. In Alabama, a drive-in movie theater is refusing to show the movie after it debuts next week. "When companies continually force their views on us, we need to take a stand. We all make choices, and I am making mine," the Christian owners of the Henagar Drive-In Theater wrote on their Facebook page. "I know there will be some [who] do not agree with this decision. That's fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family-oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality, and foul language."
Good for them! As new numbers show, that's not only a positive decision, but a profitable one. Even the liberal media is pointing out how unpopular shows with LGBT themes have become. Programs like "Variety," "Doubt," "When We Rise," and "Modern Family" have been "plagued" by low ratings after pushing their agenda on viewers. "The ABC miniseries chronicling the history of the LGBT movement fell almost one million viewers from its premier," according to the Advocate. Other shows like "Eyewitness" have just been straight-up canceled.
When will these CEOs wake up and realize that the surest way to sabotage their brand is to wade into the Left's culture wars? As FRC has said from the beginning, every company should have the freedom to drive their reputation in the ground with controversial decisions like this one. But moviegoers also have a choice not to underwrite a message they oppose. And in the end, that's the ticket -- to real change.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.