In late March, reporter Christopher Rufo released footage of top Disney employees vowing to inject their radical LGBTQ agenda into children's programming.
Disney producer Latoya Raveneau told an all-hands meeting that her team works to push a "not-at-all-secret gay agenda" in programming aimed at kids and sought to add "queerness" to such content. Disney corporate president Karey Burke announced that she was the mother of "one transgender child and one pansexual child" and that she would try to achieve a quota system whereby half of all Disney characters would be LGBTQ or people of color. Disney diversity and inclusion manager Vivian Ware stated that Disney's beloved theme parks would be eliminating any mention of "ladies and gentlemen" or "boys and girls."
This prompted a well-deserved firestorm for the Mouse House. Disney has long been left-wing on social issues — but in the aftermath of ginned-up controversy surrounding Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, which protects small children from indoctrination on sexual orientation and gender identity, an angry coterie of employees pushed management to signal fealty even harder. So Disney's brass did, announcing that they opposed the Florida bill and then turning over the company to its most radical contingent.
And people reacted. #BoycottDisney began to trend on social media. We at the Daily Wire committed to spending $100 million to develop children's content that would be safe for kids — content dedicated to traditional values, where parents wouldn't have to worry about prescreening content for messages about nonbinary 5-year-olds.
The Left, caught with its hand in the kiddie jar, immediately swiveled and accused the Right of initiating this culture war. Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times lamented that she felt terrible for Raveneau, who, after all, was just "step[ping] up to defend the company's queer friendliness, only to become a national object of right-wing fury and disgust," and whose injection of LGBTQ propaganda into children's content was "sweetly anodyne." CNN hosted Washington Post transgender columnist Charlotte Clymer, adding the chyron "LGBT COMMUNITY LATEST TO BE CAUGHT IN CULTURE WAR." The takeaway, according to the social Left, is that anyone who defends traditionalism in child-rearing — or anyone who simply doesn't want children turned into targets of sexual propagandizing — is the true cultural aggressor.
This is a transparent lie. And it's a lie that won't rebound to the benefit of those who seek radical change. If they wish to pose the rubric of gay rights against parental rights, gay rights are likely to suffer. If they wish to suggest that LGBTQ freedom extends to teachers initiating children into sexual conversations without parental permission, parents are unlikely to go along for the ride. For decades, the social Left has made inroads by arguing that they simply want to be left alone. The Right, by contrast, has argued that the Left's agenda is far broader, that the Left demands cultural celebration of its sexual mores and that it will stop at nothing to remake society in order to achieve its narcissistic goals. Disney's latest foray into the culture wars proves that the Right was correct, that the Left's stated agenda was a lie and that its "not-at-all-secret" agenda targeted the most vulnerable Americans.
Disney shows no signs of backing away from the extremism its all-hands meeting unmasked before the world. And other corporations are following Disney's lead, pushing wild Left advocacy instead of catering to the broadest possible market. For too long, Americans have planted their heads firmly in the sand, hoping that the forces of the free market would militate against the cultural hijacking of corporate institutions. Instead, corporations built by entrepreneurs have been hijacked by woke employees and a feckless managerial class. The blowback will be real, and it should be real. And if that means parents swearing off Mickey Mouse, increasingly they will.
Ben Shapiro, 38, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "How To Destroy America In Three Easy Steps," "The Right Side Of History," and "Bullies."