Few companies have embraced wokeness with as much zeal as Disney. The company has leaped headlong into America’s culture war to become one of the most activist corporations in the U.S.
Disney management’s public battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill – which critics disingenuously call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — drew national attention to the company this spring.
In April, we learned that Disney had kicked their support for the LGBTQ community up a notch by offering a new benefit that will assist employees and their minor children with “gender affirmation procedures.”
And following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, the company immediately assured employees that, regardless of where they live, they will be reimbursed for the cost of travel to the nearest state that allows abortion.
What a great work environment for a liberal employee. This company really has your back.
But what if you’re a conservative? This is precisely where former Disney content producer Jeremiah Daws, “a pro-life, conservative Christian,” found himself. He recently shared his story with The Daily Wire.
(Note: This interview, published by The Daily Wire on Friday, is located behind a paywall. A portion of the article can be viewed on the Conservative News Daily site.)
Shortly after his arrival in Hollywood, Daws learned to keep his conservative views to himself. In the late 2000s, he and his brother signed up for a screenwriting workshop. Daws said, “The man who ran the workshop noticed some conservative posts on my social media and invited us to breakfast to let us know we would be blacklisted in Hollywood if people knew we held those beliefs.”
In 2015, Daws went to work for Disney. He managed to avoid political discussions and got along just fine until the summer of 2020.
In reaction to the George Floyd riots that had spread throughout the country, Disney began sending employees to mandatory diversity and inclusion training sessions. “That was the last straw” for Daws.
He recalled being told, “as a white, straight, male, I should be quiet and listen” and that “promotions would be on hold for the white men on the team.” He said he’d been instructed to “start casting non-binary children for our photo and video shoots.”
That fall, Daws read a book called “Live Not By Lies” that had an impact on him. The book, written by The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, tells the “stories of Christians who resisted totalitarianism in the Soviet Union.”
Daws told the Daily Wire he felt like he was “living every day promoting a company, a belief system, and even COVID hysteria, that I didn’t agree with. … I was living by lies, putting on this false exterior.”
He quoted Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “[L]et the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”
He left the company several months later because “I just couldn’t lie anymore. I would remove myself from the equation. Living in that kind of environment is soul-crushing. I wanted to be free to express myself without fear of losing my job. I wanted to be in an environment where I could make friends who would accept me as I am, not as they demand me to be.”
Since leaving, Daws has enrolled in trade school and plans to open a machine shop.
“I had hope in the back of my mind that if Disney ever got back to just making magic, maybe I could go back,” Daws said. “But the lie was still out there. There were 10 years worth of friends and coworkers that still believed I was one of them.”
“It was time to end the lies once and for all. I wanted my next phase of life to be open and truthful. Wherever I worked next, everything would be out on the table.”
Daws had been pleased by the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe. “People have prayed for this day for 50 years. We are now on the path to righting this horrible wrong.”
“This was a day to celebrate. I had a small platform among my liberal friends to be a different voice,” he said.
Daws chose that day to “come out” on social media as a conservative. Predictably, his liberal friends responded with “a lot of negativity.”
He was wise to get out.
Although Disney likely tops the list of U.S. corporations that have adopted a woke agenda, this toxic ideology has spread like a plague throughout corporate America.
As Disney’s management chases their woke dreams, they’ve forgotten their two primary responsibilities: To provide entertainment to families and to maximize shareholder value. No doubt a portion of their clientele think it’s wonderful to include transgenders in films and to add gay characters to old Disney classics, but my guess is that the majority of American parents disagree.
That they’ve failed at both is apparent in the price of the company’s common stock, which has been cut in half over the past year.
The pendulum has swung too far in one direction. And ordinary Americans are growing tired of identity politics and speech regulation.
Hopefully, voters will deliver a huge “thumbs down” to the woke agenda in November.
A previous version of this article was published on The Western Journal.
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