DISNEY’S ANTI-BIAS CAMPAIGN EXCLUDES CATHOLICS
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on how Disney has treated Catholics vis-a-vis other segments of the population:
Disney is apologizing left and right for what it says are its bigoted portrayals of many groups. It is also scrubbing its inventory clean of stereotypical depictions, offering disclaimers at the beginning of its movies. Yet its newly found sensitivity does not include Catholics, even though they have unquestionably been the most maligned of any demographic group.
Last year, Disney put disclaimers on several of its movies. “The Jungle Book” was said to perpetuate a stereotype of African Americans; “Peter Pan” was branded offensive to Indians; “Swiss Family Robinson” was criticized for depicting pirates as a “stereotypical foreign menace”; “Dumbo” was cast as racist; “Aladdin” was condemned for being anti-Arab; “The Aristocrats” were deemed anti-Asian because a cat played the piano with chopsticks; and “Lady and the Tramp” was pulled by Disney Plus for offering a “culturally insensitive portrayal of Italian-American chefs.”
In February 2021, “The Muppet Show” was slammed for being racist. A warning was given to prospective viewers: the Muppet characters were designed to offer stereotypes of Native Americans, Arabs and East Asians. “The program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”
If Disney really objected to “negative depictions” and “stereotypes,” it would say something about the long list of “negative depictions” and stereotypical portrayals of priests that its movies and TV shows have featured for decades.
In 1993, The Walt Disney Company bought Miramax, a leading movie distribution and production company, from Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The first attack on Catholics came that same year when Disney/Miramax released “Priest.” It had so many negative depictions that not one of the five priests who starred in the movie was featured in a positive way. One of the priests had an affair with his housekeeper; another had sex with a male friend; one was a drunkard; the country priest was a madman; and the bishop was wicked.
In 1999, Disney and its distributor Miramax released “Dogma.” The movie, which starred Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, was an irreverent look at Catholicism. It maintained that Joseph and Mary had sexual relations; Mary gave birth to a daughter who worked at an abortion clinic; God was played by Alanis Morissette; and a foul-mouthed 13th apostle was introduced.
Later in 2002, “The Magdalene Sisters” was rolled out. It was a lying, vicious depiction of nuns who worked with wayward young women in Ireland. Reports issued by the Irish government found a very different picture of these nuns than what this movie afforded.
The following year, just in time for Christmas, “Bad Santa” hit the big screen. Santa was shown as a chain-smoking, drunken, foul-mouthed, suicidal, sexual predator who soils himself in Santa’s chair. He is also depicted vomiting in alleys, having sex with a woman bartender in a car, and performing anal sex on a huge woman in a dressing room.
In 1995, Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC; the combined company was named The Walt Disney Company.
The first attack on Catholics came two years later when ABC released “Nothing Sacred.” It featured a priest who was at war with the Catholic Church’s sexual ethics. He questioned whether God exists, refused to counsel against abortion in the confessional, and openly denounced the Church’s teachings on abortion, contraception, homosexuality and promiscuity, telling parishioners that he was tired of being a “sexual traffic cop.”
In 1998, the same year “Nothing Sacred” crashed, ABC aired “That’s Life” during Holy Week. It was one long assault on virtually every aspect of Catholicism. Worst of all was a vicious mockery of the suffering and death of Jesus. “Imagine the blood comes spurting out of [his vein] like a hose. I mean, whack, whack, whack….”
Bill Maher was the star of “Politically Incorrect,” a show that bashed the Catholic Church on a regular basis beginning in 1999. Confession was mocked, the Immaculate Conception was the subject of vile remarks, Jesus was trashed, the Eucharist was demeaned, and priests were depicted as rapists.
We could fill a book with all the anti-Catholic comments made on “The View” over the years. The worst episodes took place in the 2000s, all with the blessings of Barbara Walters; she was both a co-producer and a panelist. Several mean-spirited women not only slandered priests with abandon, they ridiculed the Eucharist, subjected Baptism to scorn, mocked the Crucifixion, and said anti-Catholicism was justified.
“The Real O’Neals,” which debuted in 2016, featured a stereotypical Irish-Catholic family that was inspired by veteran anti-Catholic bigot, Dan Savage. In the first two episodes, an overzealous mother is shown abusing statues of the Virgin Mary: one was used to stop her son from having sex; the other was placed above the toilet as a reminder to put down the seat.
In 2017, ABC aired its miniseries on the gay rights movement, “When We Rise.” Its opening episode was an all-out assault on Catholics. The most vicious attack centered on a women’s march in Boston. “We get beat up by the very cops that refuse to protect us,” one character said, “in a city run by Catholic cops.”
Anyone who thinks “Family Guy” is a family-friendly show ought to think again. In 2020, ABC ran three offensive episodes. One portrayed priests as molesters, one trashed the Eucharist, and the other mocked Baptism and Holy Communion.
We are submitting a longer version of this synopsis of Disney’s anti-Catholic history to The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors, along with a note from me. If they can apologize to the Polynesians about “Moana,” perhaps they can apologize to Catholics for decades of abuse.
Contact Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company: email@example.com
Bill Donohue makes some good points, but he’s like the Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson of the Catholic Church: a perpetually and professionally aggrieved man who uses claims of discrimination and injustice to promote himself while promoting a cause.
“culturally insensitive portrayal of Italian-American chefs.” Perhaps the dumbest thing I have seen all month
As Father Andrew Greeley once noted, Anti-Catholic prejudice is one of America’s dirty little secret and is American as apple pie. I just do not watch this media trash anymore. What is good and true has been demoted and what is vile and filthy has been elevated in modern culture.
Walt Disney must be turning over in his grave.
Is this the same Father Andrew Greeley who wrote pornographic books? And contrary to what the fake news and cafeteria catholics claimed Father Greeley possessed a liberal Catholic’s ideological absolutism. Father Greeley was part of a movement that sought to reshape the Church in a new, “enlightened” image. In my view he was part of the problem.
Think it’s time for Catholics especially to stop worshipping at the altar of Disney.
I thought Republicans were opposed to identity politics. Except, I guess, when it suits them.
Though I am not a republican only moronic liberals support the hivemind and right speak
No, the rad trad Catholics engage in groupthink all their own. Whenever you hear someone, and I think you have done this, refer to felt banners, clown Masses, and puppets at novus ordo Masses, you’re guilty of rad trad groupthink.
No we engage in truth not double leftist speak, and guess what you will see – felt banners; there have been puppets at the N.O masses.
bohemond, it is not truth that there are felt banners and puppets at Catholic Mass.
Watch the Mass on Youtube. There are thousands that have been posted in the last year if you want to know the truth.
Leftist double speak is bad. Lies are bad, too.
You don’t have to justify attending a Latin Mass (or other Catholic rite) by lying about the Ordinary Form.
You are wrong. Everyone makes fun of banners, including those who go to the New Mass — even those of us who use them on festive occasions at our homes.
I first heard a joke about banners from a Newer Mass attendee. It goes like this: When someone says to you, “You Catholics worship statues.” Reply back, “No, now we worship banners.”
I feel like the Church, a group of Catholics, or even an individual Catholic should develop something along the lines of the GLAAD media training. All these other groups are rising to educate others about their specialness. Why shouldn’t Catholics?
I believe that is the ostensible purpose of the Catholic League, but it seems rather tied to the personality of its leader.
Being abrasive is not a good way. I also don’t think playing the victim is a good way.
The Church puts out materials for the media on the Mass and the Church structure (I think) so that at events, like Kennedy funerals and Papal conclaves, they can report accurately
I have wondered why we don’t do more. Cardinal Dolan has done a lot of short interviews on Today.
I think a lot of people in media are Catholics or former Catholics.
It is an extremely interesting religion with an extremely interesting history.
Many Catholic people have done really important things.
Catholics in the arts have had important contributions.
A lot is made of the sexual teachings of the church but there is so much more to the Faith.
Anonymous….Kennedy’s public funeral was a disgrace. After all the years of him voting pro-abortion he is lauded as a good Catholic. What a joke. Most media people in my view are far Left to the core and reject the church’s teachings. Sanctity of life is the preeminent issue which they reject. As for the sexual teachings they are deadly to both the body as well as the soul so that’s why they are important. As are other issues I won’t dispute that.
I stop buying most Disney products years ago when they put Mae West types of characters and Pocahontas in micro mini skirts and the women’s dress cleavage got lower than Snow Whites’ in their children’s movies. Kris can call me a “Snow White” racist, although I am not really that “white”.
Correction: “I stopped buying”.
I did not mean to pick on the pregnant, nursing or more Rubenesque ladies out there. In real life I realize how hard it is to find decent, well fitting and attractive clothing for women. I really do not go around with a tape measure measuring ladies’ necklines and skirts. l have had to buy scarves, summer jackets and sweaters and skirt extenders to make myself presentable after realizing some of my clothing did not fit well. I really do understand.
Ronnie: the late Fr. Greeley was a priest in good standing as well as a sociologist of religion and an author of many books, both fiction and non-fiction. His novels were “steamy” in parts but they could not in any manner be considered pornographic. By the way, if you are familiar with the teachings of the Church with regards to human sexuality, then you know they Church, and hence God, teaches that human sexuality is a great gift to humanity and is “GOOD when lived out properly. If you are going to declare some of Fr. Greeley’s books as pornographic, then you run the risk of also declaring the Song of Songs (or Songs of Solomon), 2 Samuel 11:1-28 (David and Bathsheba) or Judges 16 (Samson and Delilah) pornographic as well. By the way, God is not mentioned once in the Song of Songs and yet it was deemed worthy to be included in the Biblical canon.
Wasn’t Cardinal McCarrick considered a “priest in good standing” and we know how that turned out. Not saying he was a homosexual pedophile but let’s look at Catholic On-Line’s take:
None would dispute that Fr. Greeley is the ‘Catholic’ darling of the secular media. Whenever the major news marketers require an interviewee regarding Catholic Church issues, they indisputably call upon the ubiquitous Fr. Greeley. Author of numerous nigh on pornographic novels, Father Greeley is under the authority of Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. It is not known if Cardinal George has imposed any disciplines upon the aging hippy Father Greeley whose behavior is not consistent with the ordained priesthood. True to form, in an August 10, 2004 New York Daily News article, Fr. Greeley crafted a column that disparaged faithful Bishops and used the deceitful headline “Catholics can vote for Kerry.” As for his pornographic novels we can disagree and of course, human sexuality is a gift from God but not to be abused or become sinful. In the Song of Songs’ the purpose of this beautiful poem is not to promote pornographic passions or to incite to lust and immorality. And we all know how it turned out for David when he sinned against God with Bathsheba and Samson and Delilah’s relationship. Did Father Greeley’s books uphold the dignity of our sexuality or pull it down with sinful images and lust?
I bet Christ told Fr. Greeley how much he appreciated his novels when he welcomed him into heaven.
Unfortunately not if he told Catholics to vote for a politician who supported killing his creation in those little girls/boys in the womb. Killing is still a mortal sin I believe.
The Catholic League, founded in 1973 by a Jesuit priest, is the largest Catholic civil rights organization in the nation. It exists to safeguard the religious rights and freedom of speech rights of all Catholics, laymen and clergy, and defends us against discrimination and defamation by others in our country. I have always thought Bill Donohue is perfect for this job. I am so sorry for the recent terrible mistakes of the Walt Disney Company. They have terrible leadership, and no longer stand for good Christian family values! Hope this will change! When they started to “go wrong” morally, my family could no longer support them. And when the company started to get goofed-up over “political correctness” issues in beloved cartoon classic movies of long ago, I just went bananas. I ran out and bought original copies– in DVD’s– of all the beloved Disney cartoon classics, as well as DVD’s of favorite, beloved “Wonderful World of Disney” TV show episodes! So– we will always have a library to enjoy and pass on to younger family members, of all of these original, beloved Disney classics. May Satan’s Culture of Death soon forever perish.
This is a really good piece. And he does a good job.
When I was raising my kid, a lot of Christians did not let their kids watch Disney productions because of the depiction of adults and parents as idiots. Or meanies.
People write stories and the Catholic Church and Catholics because it is counter-cultural is going to be attacked, mocked, mis-represented.
We can all be like Bill Donahue and contact the producers of materials that are offensive.
I remember Ron Howard defending himself saying “I’m not anti-Catholic” after the Da Vinci code was released. There were a lot of educational materials available to correct things in the movie. Some Catholics just said “It’s a movie.” It would be interesting to create a survey to see how many of the errors are believed in the population.
Everyone “knows” that the Church sold indulgences, right? Not really. That is taught even in Catholic schools.
No, Raphael. The Church does not at all support “steamy sex scenes,” and the Song of Songs in the Bible is not about sex– it is about Divine Love and the sexual union of Man and Woman, one heart and one flesh, in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Christ elevated the loving marital union of Man and Woman to a very high status— in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. There are three in every Catholic marriage– the Bride, the Groom, and Christ, Whose living, heavenly graces bless, sanctify, and nurture the lifelong Holy Sacrament in the Marriage Vows at the altar of God — a pathway to God in Heaven. Marriage is not about sex– instead, sex is a part of lifelong Marriage, unifying the couple as one heart, one flesh, with the Divine hand of God bringing forth children from their holy union. Fr. Andrew Greeley was too liberal, set a bad example as a priest, and his books are too “racy” for a priest.
Fr. Greeley’s writings were never censured. So there. Fr. Greeley was never disciplined. So there. You’re imposing your own standards on the church when the church has had nothing to say about it. So leave it alone instead of making yourself a dictator.
You don’t understand, the Church, in Vatican II, does not censure liberals who are against some teachings, unless they go too far. The Church fails to censure many bad clerics and nuns, since Vstican II. How about the “Nuns On the Bus ” and Sister Simone, with her near-acceptabce of serious mortal sins, with abortion and birth control, in Obamacare?? Very bad nuns! Noy “personal opinion,” Anonymous.
Another case of liberal sinfulness of clergy and nuns, not censured by the Church, just like highly-praised Sister Simone Campbell, who supported birth control and abortion in Obamacare and urged Pres. Obama and the Nation to adopt it– is the Papsl favorite, Fr. James Martin, S.J., a promoter of sinful acts of gay sex.
Neither was Cardinal McCarrick & your point is.
Wrong, traddy, Cardinal McCarrick was disciplined by Pope Benedict XVI and told to live a quiet life. That was undone by Pope Francis the First.
Traddy? I’m still laughing at this label because nothing could be further than the truth. Cardinal McCarrick is a homosexual sex abuser and not surprised the Church is still protecting this very sick man. That’s the sorry state of our Church today, except a few courageous clergy who speak out.
You say Traddy as though it’s a bad thing, it isn’t. Your intended insult is rejected.
So Traddy….Didn’t intend to offend & have even attended the Latin Mass. However I prefer my regular Mass.
Pope Benedict XVI denied that.
anonymous, the report explains what they say really happened. And we do not refer to a Pope as “the First”.