Jerzy Ellanna; Week 5 – Part 2

Hey Guys! If I were to conduct a social experiment right now and put the Pandora “Disney Children’s Radio’ on – let’s be honest- how many of you would be able to belt out at least 8/10 songs. As I count the imaginary show of hands… that’s what I thought, the answer is a whole freaking lot of you.

Disney is our childhoods wrapped up into one massive expanding cooperation. It was funded by creative genius Walt Disney on October 16, 1923 in Los Angeles, CA. Shockingly, a company founded almost 100 years ago is still be growing with a 6.19% five year average. While we all enjoy that movies, shows, songs, and so much more that Disney creates; I doubt many realize just how massive the corporation really is.

A google search for “what disney owns’ will turn up an assortment of answers, but a quick browsing of wikipedia will shock you. Here are SOME of the companies and corporations Disney owns: Earth Star, Inc., corporate airline, Synergy Group, Touchstone Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, Lucas Ltd. (Industrial Light and Magic, Lucasfilm Animation, LucasArts, Skywalker Sound), Hollywood Records, Buena Vista Theatrical Ventures, Inc, The Baby Einstein Company, Club Penguin, ABC, A&E, ESPN Inc., and Marvel Entertainment.

That list isn’t even the tip of the iceberg, that’s like the piece of ice that fell off the iceberg. Imagine the former list plus every organization, cruise, resort, sporting affiliation, music, television program, and movie with the word Disney in it. Then, on top of the Disney namesake,  add in every station, television program, music affiliation, and merchandise each of those sub-corporations owns.

The question is, does this incredible arch of power affect the media offered through disney affiliates? Unsurprisingly, this isn’t a new concern. In December 1998, Elizabeth Lesly Stevens wrote an investigative article outlining a recent clash between the Disney giant and it’s struggling affiliate ABC. ABC was in the process of preparing an article that pointed a negative spotlight at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Stevens writes an imaginary promo, “Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Billed as the Happiest Place on Earth. But how safe are you — and more importantly, your children — at Disney’s empire in Florida? All theme parks are magnets for pedophiles. But our four — month investigation found that Disney’s hiring practices actually allowed the employment of convicted pedophiles at its parks and resorts…Is Disney placing its youngest and most exploitable customers — your children — at unnecessary risk?’

The story was cut and rejected by then ABC News president, David Westin, perhaps because of some pushing from higher powers. Do you think the influence of power has changed between Disney and it’s extraordinary number of outlets in the last 13 years?