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  • [Rumor] Diversity Review Team

    Now this is just a rumor, but with all the attention that Splash Mountain is getting I wouldn't put it past Disney to do this. The rumor is that Disney is creating a Diversity Review Team to look at attractions that have outdated cultural depictions and make changes where necessary (like with the auction scene in Pirates). Here's the list of attractions that would be up for review:

    1. Splash Mountain

    2. American Adventure

    3. Hall of Presidents

    4. Country Bear Jamboree

    5. Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue

    6. Carousel of Progress

    7. It’s a Small World

    8. Peter Pan’s Flight

    Of course Splash Mountain if on the top of the list, but it's a small world? That doesn't make sense to me as it's meant to celebrate children from all over the world. The only thing about The Carousel of Progress that might need updating is making the family multi-ethnic. Again this is all just a rumor, but with everything that's going on in our country, this could become reality.
    Inside the Magic reports on the rumor that Disney is to set up a diversity review team, which will review whether attractions are becoming socially dated.

  • #2
    This rumor originated on the WDWMagic forum in its "Politics and Social Issues" sub-forum (WDWMagic's equivalent of MiceChat's Debate Lounge). Their thread has nearly 450 posts thus far -- most of them expressing outrage, many of them extremely hyperbolic, and a good number of them attacking other posters. Let's hope the discussion here is more civilized.

    (A note that to join the Debate Lounge, you need to drop a PM request to PhotoMatt.)
    "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
    it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
    together with every variety of recreation and fun,
    designed to appeal to everyone."

    - Walt Disney

    "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
    - Michael Eisner

    "It's very symbiotic."
    - Bob Chapek

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome to The Orwellian World of Disney

      Comment


      • #4
        A little thought experiment, maybe rhetorical questions:

        Would we have grown beyond reconstruction or the KKK if we didn't teach about slavery? Would we have learned from WWII if we didn't teach about it?* I don't know the answers to those, because I learned about them in school, but I do know that the long, violent, bloody, and classist war on the poor (the labor movement, ca 1870s-1930s) in our country is not taught in schools, and is now so forgotten that unions are collapsing from apathy. I could go on- Vietnam, Korea, the Spanish-American war...no one was teaching about these misadventures when our current leadership was in school. Seems like those were also lessons not learned, as indicated by our continuing misadventures in the mid-east and Asia.

        I'm sorry if this is inappropriate for this forum, but it seems like they're questions worth thinking about. I guess I'm getting tired of white-washing our history in the name of sensitivity. And wow, just as I typed that I saw the racism embedded in "white-washing."

        *I know, I know: recent news makes me wonder if we did learn anything from those painful times after all.

        Diversity Review should focus on the present and the future: more diversity among front-line cast members, more diversity at the Studios, in management, and in scripts, more diversity in shows and future attractions. They should also put together an Edutainment team to deal with the lack of diversity represented in our cultural history, especially as it's represented in the parks.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the rumor is bogus; most likely a backlash to Disney's stand on diversity and inclusion:

          Bob Iger Promised Diversity in Disney’s Executive Ranks by 2021

          Bob Chapek, Bob Iger, and Latondra Newton Share a Letter to Cast Members Reaffirming Diversity and Inclusion

          Diversity & Inclusion - The Walt Disney Company

          Diversity and Inclusion Commitment - The Walt Disney Company (pdf document)
          "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
          it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
          together with every variety of recreation and fun,
          designed to appeal to everyone."

          - Walt Disney

          "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
          - Michael Eisner

          "It's very symbiotic."
          - Bob Chapek

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
            I think the rumor is bogus; most likely a backlash to Disney's stand on diversity and inclusion:

            Bob Iger Promised Diversity in Disney’s Executive Ranks by 2021
            Iger's promise isn't exactly holding up.

            While Executives' is a broad term (and can even be referred to the legendary hundreds of VPs in the company), the top brass is not reflecting Diversity.

            Of the 15 Top Executives in the company, only 1 is non-white (Carlos A. Gomez, Treasurer).

            With Rebecca Campbell's promotion, the number of women goes up to 4...out of 15.

            The board is better made up, as referenced in that article at the time...
            There are four women and five men. Three out of the nine are racially diverse, the company said in its proxy statement for 2020. Board members includes Oracle Corporation CEO Safra A. Catz, General Motors chairman Mary T. Barra and CVS Health executive vice president Derica W. Rice. Terms for all board members expire at this year’s board meeting, scheduled for March 11.
            ...However the Gender ratio has gone up to 6 Men and still only 4 women. Why? Chapek was installed on the board, with Iger deciding to remain on the board

            Is Iger aware that 2021 is only 6 months away?
            Last edited by Spongeocto4; 06-14-2020, 09:15 PM. Reason: Grammar.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
              Welcome to The Orwellian World of Disney
              Indeed.

              Comment


              • #8
                I wouldn’t doubt it’s being discussed, but as of now the media has moved on from Splash and the social media posts have almost entirely disappeared.

                Ultimately councils like this often fail horribly since they are completely removed from realities of everyday operation. I’m almost every case I’ve seen something similar implemented the advisors present a list of demands that cut a swathe through whatever they are overseeing and because of budgets and/or an opposing viewpoint actually running the organization these suggestions are almost wholly ignored.

                Disney would be much better served by just hiring and promoting a greater diversity of people into managerial and leadership roles. That is a big ask though since then those newbies may deviate from the Ivy League business culture at the top that Disney management seems to cherish these days.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MrGoat View Post
                  A little thought experiment, maybe rhetorical questions:

                  Would we have grown beyond reconstruction or the KKK if we didn't teach about slavery? Would we have learned from WWII if we didn't teach about it?* I don't know the answers to those, because I learned about them in school, but I do know that the long, violent, bloody, and classist war on the poor (the labor movement, ca 1870s-1930s) in our country is not taught in schools, and is now so forgotten that unions are collapsing from apathy. I could go on- Vietnam, Korea, the Spanish-American war...no one was teaching about these misadventures when our current leadership was in school. Seems like those were also lessons not learned, as indicated by our continuing misadventures in the mid-east and Asia.

                  I'm sorry if this is inappropriate for this forum, but it seems like they're questions worth thinking about. I guess I'm getting tired of white-washing our history in the name of sensitivity. And wow, just as I typed that I saw the racism embedded in "white-washing."

                  *I know, I know: recent news makes me wonder if we did learn anything from those painful times after all.

                  Diversity Review should focus on the present and the future: more diversity among front-line cast members, more diversity at the Studios, in management, and in scripts, more diversity in shows and future attractions. They should also put together an Edutainment team to deal with the lack of diversity represented in our cultural history, especially as it's represented in the parks.
                  Side note the term “white-washing” is actually derived from a cheap paint used in early industrial England. It actually contained no inherently racially motivated term, white was the cheapest paint to produce since it had no expensive pigments. The term coming from this paint meant to make something uniform or “neat” and referred to the act of painting something like a fence in the white wash to hide deformities and make it uniform and neat looking quickly. There was never any association with “white” being better, the only reason the paint became widely used was because it was cheap not to add pigment and people had no money. The subsequent term referred to this uniform look made cheaply, but many people misinterpret “white washing” history with a racial narrative when really it meant and can be used in any context where someone is trying to simplify or unify something. Conclusion, the term actually has no racial origin and is most definitely mislabeled simply because it has white in the name

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                    This rumor originated on the WDWMagic forum in its "Politics and Social Issues" sub-forum (WDWMagic's equivalent of MiceChat's Debate Lounge). Their thread has nearly 450 posts thus far -- most of them expressing outrage, many of them extremely hyperbolic, and a good number of them attacking other posters. Let's hope the discussion here is more civilized.

                    (A note that to join the Debate Lounge, you need to drop a PM request to PhotoMatt.)
                    LOL. "Expressing outrage, extremely hyperbolic and attacking other posters" should be part of the title for wdwmagic.
                    "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                      Welcome to The Orwellian World of Disney
                      Originally posted by tarheelalum View Post

                      Indeed.
                      Disney is not our government. Asking people to consider whether cultural depictions have become outdated is not the equivalent of our government torturing us into admitting factual falsehoods.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This sounds like just a rumor, but I want to point out that Disney is a corporation and is legally required to consider the moves to maximize profit for shareholders. If such a committee exists, it's bottom line will be to determine whether public sentiment has moved in such a way that will negative impact Disney's profits if they chose not to act.

                        I don't suspect the outdated cultural depictions people take issue with will be enough for any sizeable crowd to boycott Disney. However, not every boycott was as powerful as the bus boycott in Montgomery. The movement to boycott South Africa over apartheid began in the 1960s, and we didn't see any real changes until 30 years later.

                        Not even speaking morally, it would be fiscally irresponsible of Disney to ignore the impact that social movements can have on the bottom line, even if the date it comes to fruition is actually far off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Remember that Disney already survived the turbulent 1960s - and similar criticism at the time - by sticking to timeless, nostalgic themes and optimistic futurism. By emphasizing the past, future and fantasy over then-current political and social relevance, they coasted through those troubled waters as many once-dominant competitors were sold off or dissolved one-by-one in their bid to keep up with the changing times. Constancy has been a business strength even through down cycles - every time there is a baby boomlet the business bounces back again as the legacy is passed on. Everything old is new again.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                            This sounds like just a rumor, but I want to point out that Disney is a corporation and is legally required to consider the moves to maximize profit for shareholders.
                            Disney certainly didn't maximize profits in its virtue signaling Star Wars movies so why would they start to care about shareholders in this matter? Shareholders should line up to sue Disney for their failure to maximize profits in that acquisition. If any changes are made to Splash Mountain it will have nothing to do with profitability and everything to do with continued lack of vision and cowardice in Disney's executive ranks.
                            Last edited by tarheelalum; 06-14-2020, 11:17 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post
                              I wouldn’t doubt it’s being discussed, but as of now the media has moved on from Splash and the social media posts have almost entirely disappeared.
                              Except the the petition to 'change it' has reached 21,000+ signatures(and counting). This shows the push is still going on.

                              Originally posted by tarheelalum View Post

                              Disney certainly didn't maximize profits in its virtue signaling Star Wars movies so why would they start to care about shareholders in this matter? Shareholders should line up to sue Disney for their failure to maximize profits in that acquisition. If any changes are made to Splash Mountain it will have nothing to do with profitability and everything to do with continued lack of vision and cowardice Disney's executive ranks.
                              It would be done in favor to Chapek's favorite word: BRAND

                              Disney wants its 'BRAND' to remain a squeaky clean image. By ignoring the controversy, their 'BRAND' suffers and bad PR ensues.

                              And with the current way things are going, the company is going to have acknowledge the petition in the immediate future.

                              Because let's not forget about the 'BRAND'.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                                Except the the petition to 'change it' has reached 21,000+ signatures(and counting). This shows the push is still going on.
                                Yep. 33,523 as of 10:09 pm PDT. And it's being reported by the mainstream media:

                                Thousands Sign Petition Urging Disneyland to Delay Reopening

                                Online Petition to Delay July Reopening of Disneyland Resorts Gains Momentum

                                Plans to reopen Disneyland ‘irresponsible and greedy,’ thousands say in petition

                                More than 21,000 have signed petition to keep Disneyland closed amid coronavirus pandemic

                                Petition Calling for Disneyland to Postpone July Reopening Garners Over 27,000 Signatures So Far

                                Online petition calls for Disneyland to reopen later than planned July 17 date, citing coronavirus concerns

                                ‘Disneyland reopening schedule looks like the unsafest thing ever’: Thousands sign petition asking to delay July opening



                                Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                                It would be done in favor to Chapek's favorite word: BRAND

                                Disney wants its 'BRAND' to remain a squeaky clean image. By ignoring the controversy, their 'BRAND' suffers and bad PR ensues.

                                And with the current way things are going, the company is going to have acknowledge the petition in the immediate future.

                                Because let's not forget about the 'BRAND'.
                                <ahem> This is Disney. That's BRANDTM .
                                Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 06-14-2020, 10:43 PM.
                                "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                designed to appeal to everyone."

                                - Walt Disney

                                "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                - Michael Eisner

                                "It's very symbiotic."
                                - Bob Chapek

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                                  Except the the petition to 'change it' has reached 21,000+ signatures(and counting). This shows the push is still going on.



                                  It would be done in favor to Chapek's favorite word: BRAND

                                  Disney wants its 'BRAND' to remain a squeaky clean image. By ignoring the controversy, their 'BRAND' suffers and bad PR ensues.

                                  And with the current way things are going, the company is going to have acknowledge the petition in the immediate future.

                                  Because let's not forget about the 'BRAND'.
                                  It reached 12k in under 12 hours, and has now taken nearly a week to reach 21k.....the rate of growth is exponentially slowing. This is in despite of the fact that in almost all of the news reports there was a link to the petition which should have carried its momentum forward. Most of the news reports are now days old, with only a few sites such as Cinemablend continuing to pump them out. 21k people is nothing in a country of 300+ million and for a petition that has a global audience. If creative works were radically changed or cancelled because of petitions in the low tens of thousands we would have very few things in this world.

                                  I will also add that a petition to keep Splash Mountain as it is actually has less than 1000 fewer votes and could overtake the original petition with basically no media coverage or links.

                                  Online petitions, online anything, is a weak measuring stick anyways. Anyone can spoof multiple accounts or votes or any number of things.
                                  Last edited by linkeq2001; 06-15-2020, 10:21 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by tarheelalum View Post

                                    Disney certainly didn't maximize profits in its virtue signaling Star Wars movies so why would they start to care about shareholders in this matter? Shareholders should line up to sue Disney for their failure to maximize profits in that acquisition. If any changes are made to Splash Mountain it will have nothing to do with profitability and everything to do with continued lack of vision and cowardice in Disney's executive ranks.
                                    They have a legal obligation to consider the moves to maximize profits. The business judgment rule allows them to make a bad decision or a wrong decision, as long as they tried. And even then, their market analytics might have told them they were in a Catch-22. They could either lose a segment of customers by acknowledging these issues in Star Wars films (though I'm not sure what in the sequels stories amounts to virtue signaling by today's standards, beyond its casting), but a bigger segment of the population would be lost if they ignored it. In fact, Disney probably would be negligent if they didn't consider this, so I'm betting they did. Just because things don't make as much money doesn't mean they didn't make as much as they thought they could under the circumstances.

                                    Disney's not going to make a decision they can't legally defend, and to be legally defensible they need to consider what the best way to make profit is. Any changes to Splash Mountain will be because it actually begins to impact the bottom line, and that's it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post

                                      It reached 12k in under 12 hours, and has now taken nearly a week to reach 21k.....the rate of growth is exponentially slowing. This is in despite of the fact that in almost all of the news reports there was a link to the petition which should have carried its momentum forward. Most of the news reports are now days old, with only a few sites such as Cinemablend continuing to pump them out. 21k people is nothing in a country of 300+ million and for a petition that has a global audience. If creative works were radically changed or cancelled because of petitions in the low tens of thousands we would have very few things in this world.

                                      I will also add that a petition to keep Splash Mountain as it is actually has less than 1000 fewer votes and could overtake the original petition with basically no media coverage or links.

                                      Online petitions, online anything, is a weak measuring stick anyways. Anyone can spoof multiple accounts or votes or any number of things.
                                      I too believe the effectiveness of petitions have changed since the days they were enshrined in the Constitution. Nowadays they are little more than a registry with names, emails, and addresses that can be auto-filled. Because of the lack of effort involved, I believe those on the receiving end of them (who, if a private company, have no obligation to do anything) ignore them for the most part. There was a petition to revive Star Wars Battlefront II after it was announced updates were ending, and it received 85,000 "signatures," but a petition circulated two years ago to revoke EA's Star Wars contract received 250,000 signatures. With the internet and change.org blurring the lines of jurisdictions, I would be surprised if even a majority of signatories for public petitions are voters. The electoral and referendum system is substantially better since signatures must be verified, but that's about it in my opinion. The fact that the Splash Mountain petition only has 21,000 signatures (and then closed) after all this reach tells me merely even half of Disneyland's single-day capacity will not be enough to sway any changes.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The petition is ridiculous, and as someone else noted, wholly removed from reality.

                                        However, I do think it's an interesting conversation to have regarding potential racial insensitivities in Disney Parks.

                                        Comment

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