Leftists across the country reacted with abject horror after progressive juggernaut Disney announced last week it would expand Disney+ operations to several Middle Eastern and African countries that criminalize homosexuality.
A day before, the company released a statement on its Twitter account excoriating Florida for passing a piece of parental rights legislation, maligned in the media and by Democratic politicians as a “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” began the statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.”
The statement concluded: “We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
Reportedly, many of Disney’s employees felt uncomfortable with the company’s announcement.
Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec tweeted last Saturday that he had received several internal messages from Disney staff members who preferred Disney stay out of the debate entirely.
The Daily Signal reached out to Disney for comment but did not receive a response.
On top of the internal discomfort from staff members, hypocrisy oozed from the pair of conflicting statements. How could Disney seriously claim it was standing for LGBT rights while expanding its business to some of the worst perpetrators of anti-LGBT violence on Earth?
This wasn’t even the first time Disney came under fire for speaking from both sides of its mouth.
Back in September 2020, the House of Mouse took a massive public relations walloping over revelations it had filmed parts of its live action “Mulan” remake in Xinjiang, China, where the Chinese Communist Party is currently engaged in genocide against the local Uyghur Muslims. Worse still, Disney gave special thanks to several Chinese Communist Party organs in the region; groups directly involved with the persecution of the Uyghurs.
Disney’s behavior is frustratingly hypocritical, but it also belies a more depressing truth. Disney, like all companies, is out to make profit. And right now, it feels like the best way to make that profit is to kowtow to woke leftist values while cynically ignoring those inconvenient values when they conflict with profit abroad.
Who cares about pesky little things like human rights when there’s money to be made in China?
But it doesn’t have to be this way. History demonstrates that big business and its leaders have stood for pro-American causes in the past, even to the detriment of their profits.
During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt called General Motors President William Knudsen with a massive problem. America’s defense industry had been completely taken apart after World War I and the the Nazi war machine raged across Europe. The U.S. would need to fill in the gaps in weapons production.
Knudsen and Roosevelt were political archenemies but, recognizing the need to stand up for democracy and American values, Knudsen quit his lucrative job to take on a government salary of $1 and convinced many of his industrialist allies to do the same.
When the world was at stake, and America needed to do what was right, big business sacrificed for the good of the country. It’s hard to imagine that happening today.
But just because the radical left currently holds a monopoly on the corporate psyche doesn’t mean we can’t return to a time where American companies had a sense of civic virtue and duty. There is a place for business in the American cultural landscape, and corporations can play a role in encouraging love of country.
In the past, there was a sense of pride in being an American company, that being based here meant you were blessed and had a duty to project and protect American values of freedom and liberty across the globe.
Disney itself used to understand this.
In 1942, the company released a cartoon titled “Der Fuehrer’s Face.” The cartoon features Donald Duck dreaming he’s trapped living in Nazi Germany. At the end of his nightmare, Donald Duck wakes up to realize he’s still living in America and happily embraces a small Statue of Liberty on his desk, exclaiming, “Oh boy, am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America!”
Maybe the Disney of today should take a look at its roots to rediscover its love of country.
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