Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An Open Letter to Disney Studios

Dear Disney,
To be honest, I don't watch the Disney Channel and am not interested in it. Too childish for me. That does not mean, however, that I am unaware of the culture and occasional controversies that spring from it. "Good Luck Charlie" is no longer in production so I need not worry that much about Taylor's two moms even if I did let my children watch the Disney Channel. Still it bothered me that the subject of single-sex headed households were brought up in a kids' show. Family structure is such a sensitive and adult issue, it seems inappropriate for children's entertainment programming.

I felt angry at first that you had broached the issue and immediately wanted to throw out everything Disney produced or affiliated, and never watch another film or broadcast from you again. Later, I started to feel sad that I would have to leave behind such an important part of my own life and my family's culture. Finally, after some thought, it occurred to me that it would never affect you if I walked away. In fact, if I convinced a thousand people to walk away, you wouldn't bat an eye or wonder where they went. Maybe if my argument persuaded a million customers to abandon you, you might notice, but not enough to actually hurt.

The fact I face is that if I want to have an impact on you, I won't be able to do it by saying nothing and walking away. If I want you to better reflect the values I want to teach my children, then I must let you know personally what those values are and whether what you have produced matches those values.

Clearly you make money from the promotion of alternative family structures. Fine. The free market can work for everyone willing to use it honestly, and maybe you are on to something; but I will not be allowing my children to view anything contrary to my values. Not to say I am intolerant or over sheltering. Same sex households and families are here to stay and deserve human dignity. However, I want a higher ideal presented to my children.

I challenge you to produce more films and broadcasts that cast the traditional family in a heroic light, like The Incredibles, The Princess and The Frog, and Lion King. Please continue to produce films like Brave, and Frozen, where women are shown to have nobility and courage; and Tangled which shows that even men as incorrigible and irresponsible as Eugene (Rider) can be redeemed. Oh, and thank you for the revisit to Winnie the Pooh several years ago. My family loves it. I must also thank you for dubbing and/or distributing so many of Studio Gibli's movies. Most of them are wonderful and beautiful family entertainment and they have a prominent place on my movie shelf.

From now on, for every show I watch with your tag on it, I will write an open letter letting you know what I think about it, and write at least three detailed reviews on different movie websites.

One of the major reasons I can't just let you go...

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