Disney's Woke Crusade Has Gone Too Far | Opinion

One of the most extraordinary features of the Culture Wars—or Cancel Culture, as those who have been on the sharp end of the woke trials pitchforks call it—is that organizations who wake up late to wokeness will invariably court the favor of those who are not their natural audience at the expense of those who are.

Thus, we see a company as long-beloved as Disney now abandoning its core family audience and instead catering to every whim demanded by the woke mob, a move both ineffective and, as we are seeing, unprofitable.

Case in point—Ms. Marvel. It's unlikely that Disney creating a Muslim superhero will lead to a sudden Taliban epiphany and the subsequent empowering of schoolgirls. More likely, it will just make more non-Muslims feel that the powers that be never stop scolding them for their alleged white privilege.

That's not the only case. Not one blue-haired, non-binary cry-bully will suddenly think "Oh, I must catch up with Disney's entire back catalog!" after hearing that Baymax, an inflatable robot, has asked the advice of a transgender man about what sort of sanitary protect he should offer to a 12-year-old girl.

Cosplayers as Baymax from Big Hero 6 on Day 1 at the MCM London Comic Con at ExCel on October 28, 2016. Disney has released a clip showing the character receiving advice about sanitary products from a transgender man in a supermarket. Ollie Millington/WireImage

Or, indeed, on hearing the news that Disney+ now warns about the 'racist' crows featured in Dumbo—although, randomly, 'Under-7s' are not allowed to watch.

At a time when schoolgirls are missing school during their periods and putting themselves at risk from bladder infections rather than share 'gender neutral' bathrooms with their notoriously grubby-minded male classmates (who may well think it the height of hilarity to 'identify' as female on Fridays), do we really need this sort of creepy propaganda from an entertainment empire which once prized wholesome storytelling above all? The track record of those who have sought to clamber aboard the Go-Woke-Go-Broke express would suggest not.

Disney is no doubt eyeing other streaming services forced to do battle with the woke mob. Late last year, Netflix's own employees even protested on social media against 'harmful' content after the platform hosted Dave Chappelle's comedy special The Closer—harmful as in hurt feelings, that is, not harmful as in anyone being actually harmed. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos sent out a memo to staff telling them that if they were offended by diversity (the 'wrong sort' of diversity — where people actually believe different things, as opposed to people of differing race and gender spouting the same views) they might wish to seek employment elsewhere. More recently, Sarandos said his memo "lacked humanity."

Why do they do it? Well, many of the entertainment, media and publishing boss class will be exactly the sort of people who will have spawned the sort of over-privileged, under-employed offspring who drive this cultural Dance Of Death. I know feminists who live in fear of their 'gender-fluid' children, and while in public they may wave the attractive suffragette colours of purple, white and yellow, at home they're trussed up tight in the sickly shades of the trans-rights flag, tip-toeing around the giant toddlers who strictly instruct their mild-mannered wage-slaves to respect their pronouns.

A lot of those who run entertainment corporations would sign their own death warrants if they thought it would get them a pat on the head from the Wokerati; a mid-life crisis now disguised as a crusade. Getting Down Wiv Da Kidz—staying 'relevant'—is always a cringe-worthy look. But one should never underestimate the desire of the jaded, middle-aged executive to feel the spry sparkle of youthful idealism once again, even as the backlash begins with many people cancelling their Disney+ subscriptions. Clearly, they are starting to conclude that if the corporation wants to cater to the most outspoken and yet most censorious elements of society, they can do it on someone else's buck.

Julie Burchill is a journalist and author of 'Welcome To The Woke Trials: How #Identity Killed Progressive Politics', published by Academica Press. The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.