Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, made episodes of “The Muppet Show” available to subscribers last week, and attached the disclaimer:
“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”
This alone will prevent me from ever considering a subscription to Disney+. How many negative descriptions apply to that disclaimer, in addition to the obvious “stupid”? Shameless woke virtue-signaling? Cowardly betrayal of a genius’s art? Grandstanding to curry favor with our new censorious and fascist Masters of the Left? Utter crapola?
- “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.” No, it doesn’t. Who was “mistreated”? Do any humans besides the mentally ill identify with puppets? Who ruled that making fun of anything was automatically “negative”?
- “These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.” “Wrong” how, exactly? The “Muppet Show” was vaudeville comedy in which all of humanity, and much of the Animal Kingdom, was mocked. Unless one believes that comedy and humor are inherently cruel and “wrong,” the show was not wrong then, and is no more wrong now.
- “Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact…” What harmful impact? The burden is on Disney to show how “The Muppet Show’s” content ever harmed anyone or anything, or could. How did it do that? Quantify the harm. That claim is even more strained than the claim that the Washington NFL team’s former name was “harmful.”
- “….learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.” Presumably this boilerplate means “learn to never challenge the speech and thought-restricting political correctness edicts now strangling the nation’s creativity, public discourse, art and education.”
- “Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.” Translation: “We pledge to make certain everything we create is political in intent, and furthers the Leftist narrative. “The Muppet Show” doesn’t qualify, because it had no political intent, and was just light-hearted and clever satire from the bad times before people realized that satire, unless it is directed at approved targets like Donald Trump, men and whites, is intrinsically harmful and offensive. But we still can make money from it, so we’ll still present this material we say is so bad, while making sure that we sneer at it in the process.”
I just checked, and Ann Althouse covered this story. She whiffed badly. She defends Disney, writing,
“Disney wants to be able to keep showing them and has — clunkily but wisely — slapped on a warning to fend off demands that the show be taken off the air. I’d like to give Disney some support here. They have a big old archive and they ought to make it available, not replace it all with paternalistic… maternalistic pablum.”
Wisely?? Talk about a false dichotomy! Disney’s only choices were to either capitulate to the woke mob or preemptively agree with it while smearing innocent works of entertainment art? No, their other choice, the right choice, was to have the courage to say, strongly, prominently and clearly,
“The Muppet Show” is and was brilliant TV comedy and satire. It harmed no one, and brought–and will continue to bring— laughter and joy to millions. The effort to censor and otherwise denigrate and impugn the comedy and satire of past eras is a slippery slope leading to an absence of cultural diversity, and the leveling of our cultural landscape. Disney will not participate in or condone that effort, now or ever.”
Ann is applauding Disney’s grovel. We, corporations, Ann, anyone who cares about our values and liberties, have to stop groveling and stop giving the grovelers a pass. What is needed are principles and courage. Disney obviously has little of either.