A remarkable 107,000 readers have contacted USA WEEKEND to speak out on the Baptist boycott of Disney. It's the highest reader response in 1997. Most of the votes — 95,279 — were unduplicated calls to 800 numbers. Results of the unscientific poll: A split, with 50.5% not supporting the recent Southern Baptist-led boycott of Disney, while 49.5% do support the boycott. ~ USA WEEKEND news release, July 29, 1997
For more than fifty years, Disney had a special place in the hearts of families. It said to parents: "You can trust us to provide wholesome entertainment for your children." But the toxins it dumps, on and off camera, are absolutely inimical to the social climate so necessary to the moral health of the next generation. Whether or not their boycott succeeds, the Southern Baptists have taken a significant step toward unmasking the face of corruption beneath the Mickey mask. ~ Columnist Don Feder, New York Post, June 25, 1997
Disney finds itself in hot water with the Southern Baptists precisely because Disney — not Time Warner or Sony or Fox — presented itself as the avatar of 'family entertainment,' while out some unmarked side door the conglomerate was shoveling something else. If customers now want to complain because they see the company moving in 'anti-Christian and anti-family direction,' Disney can thank itself. It trained them to expect better. ~ Holman W. Jenkins Jr., Wall Street Journal, June 24, 1997
Rabbi Zalman I. Posner of Sherith Israel Congregation, the most conservative of the Jewish faith, approves of the boycott and takes the Bible's admonition against homosexuality literally.
"There is one positive way that the citizen can express his will and that is the free enterprise way, " Posner says. "You buy the products and support the company or you decline to buy its products."
The goal of the television — Disney and others — is profit, which in itself isn't bad, Posner says. But, he adds, when their goals conflict with the goals of the citizen, the citizen's only recourse is the economic route. ~ Francis Meeker, The Nashville Banner, July 7, 1997
When growing numbers of denominations are adopting a cafeteria theology, in which members are allowed to reject the vegetable of fidelity in favor of the dessert of licentiousness, just to build the membership, it's encouraging that at least one is willing to suffer ridicule from the elites on a matter of principle. ~ Cal Thomas, June 25, 1997
Seven Ways to Impact the Magic Kingdom
Use these suggestions as a check list during the coming months:
• Write the Walt Disney Company to express your concerns about company policies and products. Let Chairman Michael Eisner know what action you are planning to take. Address your letter to:
Chairman Michael Eisner
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
• Identify and avoid movies and videos from Disney-owned film companies such as Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Caravan, and Miramax Films.
• Choose vacation theme parks other than Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Let Chairman Michael Eisner know your intention.
• Avoid watching ABC. Let your local ABC affiliate and their advertisers know why.
• Find alternatives to Disney animated movies and videos. Contact local video stores or Christian bookstores for other family-friendly titles.
• Cancel the Disney Channel and ESPN. Let your cable company know why.
• Pray for the salvation of Michael Eisner and other entertainment industry heads. Policies such as those at Disney reflect spiritual problems at the top.
A Disney "No Show"
Disney's executive vice president for corporate affairs pulled out of a meeting he had scheduled July 23 with pro-family organizations critical of the company's productions and policies. Following the meeting, representatives of Concerned Women for America announced the organization was joining the boycott. A spokesman for King for America Inc. — an Atlanta-based civil rights organization founded by Alveda King, niece of late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. — said it will seek to bring other civil rights groups into the effort.
Focus on the Family and Family Research Council — organizations which rarely participate in formal boycotts — said they will consider participation in this case. It is "very likely" Focus' support of the boycott will increase, spokesman Mark Maddox said.