Monday, January 10, 2011

One Last Note About Disney (I Swear On Mickey's Grave That It's The Last)

Okay, I swear this is the last post about Disney, but another particuarly fascinating aspect of this company is that it sometimes take a position that is 180 degrees from how it's generally perceived.

Mr. X actually brought this up in his original e-mails, but I couldn't find a way to fit it in at the time. Given that I mentioned the book about Disney and Eisner this week, it's fair to mention it now, particularly since Eisner (based on what's in the book) apparently deserves much of the credit.

In 1991, several thousand people coordinated a visit to DisneyWorld as a gay pride event. Each year, the unofficial event grew larger. The Southern Baptist Convention wanted Disney to stop the event (I'm not sure how you'd "stop" it, but whatever).

Disney refused.

Eventually, the SBC boycotted Disney for eight years. Disney didn't change. A company with a spine when it would have been far more convenient to just give in? Certainly, it's not what most people would have expected.

I'm not going to get into a political discussion, because that's not the point of the post, but I do think it's worth noting that many companies have completely caved when confronted by the high degree of organization and coordination among organizations like the SBC, which is used to punish anyone who doesn't accede to their wishes. Disney didn't.

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