Disney recently announced intentions to withdraw their filming operations from the state of Georgia. They had shot some scenes for two upcoming movies there and have now decided they will probably not do so again.
The problem is the fact that the Georgia legislature passed what is referred to as the “heartbeat” bill. The law states that no abortion can be performed once the unborn babies’ heartbeats can be detected. In effect, this limits abortions to children who have been in the womb about six weeks or less.
Employees to Blame?
Disney is blaming its employees for the retreat from the Peach State. They say that their cast and crew “will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard.” Wow. I wish my employers had listened to me like that when I had complaints. Their attitude was more along the lines of “We’re paying you. Do what we tell you to do.”
I’m pretty sure Disney could easily find replacements for any folks who decided to walk off the job. It might cause a delay or two, but most people—even actors—like to receive a steady paycheck. I’m not convinced that the CEO is being totally honest here. Disney holds a lot more sway than that.
I would think that Disney (if they were going to choose up sides at all) would speak on behalf of the children. After all, isn’t the bulk of their clientele under the age of puberty? It would seem to me that Disney would want more children, not fewer of them. Not so, apparently.
So for now, at least, Disney has aborted Mickey Mouse from Georgia. Still, they haven’t taken steps to refrain from filming movies in countries that have very strict laws prohibiting abortion. They also shoot scenes in places that do things like punish (even kill) homosexuals. In addition, they do a lot of business in countries like China, for example.
There’s a Disneyland Park in Shanghai and a lot of Disney products are made in China. You don’t have to do a lot of research to discover that China is a huge violator of human rights. I would guess that oppressed workers are slaving away on Disney merchandise right now. I wonder if the Disney employees in China have the ear of the company the way the American ones do. I’m guessing, “No.”
Disney pulling out of Georgia has been described in many terms. One of them is the relatively new (but extremely popular) “virtue signaling.” That’s a term the press usually reserves for people of faith. It certainly can be applied to large corporations as well. I believe the Disney-Georgia move qualifies.
Another term is much older and well worn. You may have heard it before. It’s summed up in the word Jesus often used to describe the Pharisees. Hypocritical. Neither Disney nor its employees seem to be all that concerned about either of them. A little bit of honesty might be in order here.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]