What would Walt do?

13 Jan

People who know me know I’m a huge fan of things Disney. But today I’m really soured on the Mouse.

ABC, which is owned by Disney, has a radio station in San Francisco that features on-air personalities who advocate violence against Americans, Muslims, and anyone else who doesn’t agree with the extreme right. In one instance, the on-air “talent” demanded that a caller prove he is not a Muslim by saying “Allah is a whore.”

Disgusting.

So, when a web site begins tracking this kind of hate speech and points it out to advertisers, what does the radio station do?

Get the web site shut down.

That’s right. Rather than say to the on-air people “tone it down,” they go on the attack against the whistleblower.

This is crap. And I wish I knew what to do about it. I think the only thing that can be done is to go above ABC and start hitting its parent company, Disney.

So here’s what I’m asking you to do:

First, go to Media Matters to get the details on what has happened.

Second, send an email to TWDC.CorpCommunications@disney.com to express your disappointment with these talking points:

  • Disney has always been the standard for excellence in decency.
  • Disney stands for family-fun entertainment, and shouldn’t have hate speech on its networks.
  • You can’t imagine that Walt Disney would have tolerated such material being associated with his company.
  • You are inclined to spend your vacation dollars elsewhere this year rather than at a Disney resort if Disney is going to tolerate this type of behavior.

Here’s the email I sent to them today:

Good morning:

It was with great concern that I learned about the on-air radio personalities at ABC Radio’s KSFO and the comments they have made on air. One radio personality said that they had a large bullseye on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Another incident occurred when a personality challenged to prove that he was not a Muslim by saying the words “Allah is a whore.”

I am a Disney shareholder, member of the Disney Vacation Club, and have been a longtime consumer of Disney’s offerings. To me, Disney has always stood for decency and healthy entertainment that would bring joy to people, not promote hate or violence. Yet with KSFO’s content, the Disney brand is being tarnished.

When an online blogger began to track the comments of the radio personalities, it appears that ABC Radio sought to shut the web site down rather than address the problems.

Frankly, I’m disappointed. I cannot believe for a moment that the Disney board of directors wants to see the company associated with this kind of behavior. And it is beyond dispute that Walt Disney would not have tolerated this.

Each year, my wife and I visit a Disney resort at least once. This year, I am highly inclined to skip our annual Disney trip and spend our vacation dollars elsewhere. I see no reason to have my dollars promote hate speech on the radio. Healthy political debate is good for the nation, but attacking people and advocating violence is unacceptable in a civilized society.

I hope that you will pass on my comments to the appropriate parties so this ugly situation can be addressed.

Sincerely yours,

William L. Wilson

Fortunately, the web site is back up so you can see it for yourself. Please do.

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4 Responses to “What would Walt do?”

  1. madmouser January 13, 2007 at 1:50 pm #

    You are a good man, Charlie Brown. Disney is not as pure as it once was when Walt was in charge. Their Gay-Lesbian Pride day at the park is offensive to me. Why should they get a special day? When can we expect Black Pride Day at the park? Divorcees Pride day at the park? Seniors Pride day at the park? Married w/children Pride day at the park? Never…

    I think the mouse has gone astray, but let me clarify one thing; this is not how I came about my name, ‘the madmouser’. That’s a whole other story.

  2. Paul Koloszar January 17, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    Huh. Okay. Puzzled by your first commenter. In answer, my guess is they get a special day as they are, among the groups named here, still legally stigmatized/ostracized/what-have-you. African-Americans (or “Blacks,” if you will), while still treated badly by a dwindling bigoted few, are legally recognized as equals under the law. Same goes for divorcees, seniors and those married w/children.

    Gay and lesbian folks aren’t yet allowed the same legal protections and benefits that any person in the other groups you named have. Namely, those protections and benefits granted upon marriage.

    As for the issue of Disney’s affiliation with KSFO goes; I know I’d rather give my vacation money to Spocko than suppose my fun would indirectly support some invective spewing idiot right-wing radio hack.

  3. WLWEsq January 17, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    Actually, Disney has nothing to do with the “Gay Days” at WDW. The gay/lesbian community in the US picks a week in June when they vacation in the Orlando area and hit all the theme parks. Disney’s position is that anyone is welcome in the parks on any day. Disney doesn’t set aside a day (or days) etc.

    Bottom line: Disney doesn’t set aside the parks for anyone, unless you’re a big company that wants to rent one of the parks for an evening event, and then you gotta spend loads of $$$$ to do it.

  4. June Thomlin May 2, 2007 at 4:24 am #

    I can only say that my experience with disney world has been more than satisfactory. Their customer servie is 1st class and the disney park is one place that once you enter, you simply do not want to leave !

    My husband and I will be visiting disney world again later this year, together with our 2 boys. We all agree that it is the best place to spend our well deserved holidays.

    Here come disneyland…

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