Mark Figley: Disney is a polar opposite of what it once was

One of the biggest surprise movie hits of the summer was “Sound of Freedom,” starring Jim Caviezel. The powerful, thought-provoking film tells the true life story of Tim Ballard, a former Department of Homeland Security agent who relentlessly pursued child traffickers around the world.

Naturally, the left has sought to discredit the movie despite the fact that it generated over $180 million in earnings since its July 4 debut; faring better overall than “Insideous” and Disney’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” while playing in far fewer venues. And now “Sound of Freedom” has been released to overseas theaters.

Rolling Stone magazine called it “a superhero movie for dads with brainworms” and “designed to appeal to the conscience of a conspiracy-addled boomers.” Miles Klee, the author of the magazine’s hit piece, also accused the film of “fomenting panic over this grossly exaggerated epidemic of child sex-trafficking.” It all could have been written by executives with The Walt Disney Company who would rather lose money by catering to woke viewers.

In fact, according to box office analyst Valliant Renegade, Disney lost nearly $900 million on its last eight movie releases, which included the hyped “Little Mermaid” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

Other Disney releases such as “Strange World” features a gay romance, the animated “Lightyear” includes a lesbian kiss, and “Elemental” boasts a non-binary character. And to top it off, Disney’s woke “Snow White” remake will star a Hispanic actress, and the “Seven Dwarfs” will include six full-grown adults with no Prince Charming!

Disney, which used to be the entertainment model for kids and families alike, is a polar opposite of what it once was. Not only did it reject “Sound of Freedom,” but according to Caviezel, tried to outright shut it down. It’s no wonder the Disney company has big problems.

Bob Iger returned as Disney CEO in November. His leadership has been a disaster with the announcement in February that the company would be restructuring. In May, Disney reported that 7,000 jobs were being cut to save $5.5 billion. The company also hopes to reduce costs by $3 billion annually in non-sports areas over the next several years.

Though the larger issue is Disney’s opposition to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Act that generally prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for grades K-3 (and 4-12 in many instances). The company has paid a steep price for its position, having to sue in an effort to regain special tax and regulatory treatment which DeSantis took away.

Then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek called the Florida law a “challenge to basic human rights.” This from a man who ran the Walt Disney Company? An entity whose theme parks stemmed from Walt Disney’s idea that “there should be a park where parents and their children could have a good time together.”

Disney brings in $4 billion of income every year, but seeks to actively undermine the traditional values which made the company what it is today. But with mindless wokesters running the show, it’s been reported that attendance has been down significantly at both Disney World and Disney Land and subscriptions to Disney+ are waning. In addition, Disney-owned ESPN continues to lose viewers and is locked in a contract dispute with Spectrum over college football broadcasts. ABC may even be put up for sale and the company laid off around 20 high-profile sports commentators to cut costs.

When those in corporate ivory towers repeatedly force their agenda of sexual and gender indoctrination upon consumers and ignore legitimate concerns, the consequences can be severe.

While it may be fashionable for Disney and others to stick their fingers in the eyes of parents who will pay to see films like “Sound of Freedom” and promote a culture whose sole purpose is to threaten the innocence of children, there may just be a day of reckoning on the horizon.

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.