Dear Disney: An open letter – why I don’t want my daughter watching your TV

Warning: Rant coming…

Dear Disney,

When I was little I always thought that Disney stood for wholesome entertainment. I truly loved Mickey and Minnie. I loved sitting down with my family in the evenings to watch a television show. I equated you with family values. I learned from you that dreams come true if we stand for what’s right.

Now, I understand that you’ve seen your fair share of controversy over the years, and maybe I was just too naive to realize some of what you were showing me as a child – but from my perspective it seems like you’ve gone down hill. You’ve left the realm of quality entertainment driven by good story telling and entered a realm that’s all about money and how much merchandise you can hawk with any given TV series. And now this whole money thing has entered an even worse state – in order to make money during the holiday season you partnered with a department store in New York and made Minnie look like she has an eating disorder. I’m disgusted. I’m disappointed. I’m hurt. And it feels like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m done with you Disney. And even though I really wish my daughter could grow up with you. It’s just not happening. If you need more explanation as to why, I’ve compiled the following list of despicable values you are teaching our children:

    • parents, especially dads, are stupid and shouldn’t be listened to (Proud Family, Wizards of Waverly Place)…
    • you can’t be cool unless you sing/dance in a provocative way (Hannah Montana, Shake it Up)…
    • It’s OK to act stupid – stupid is funny (Wizards of Waverly Place, That’s so Raven, Suite Life on Deck, Jessie, ANT farm etc.)
    • you can do all kinds of unethical and even illegal things with consequences that equate to a slap on the wrist (That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana, Shake it Up, Jessie, Good Luck Charlie, Suite Life on Deck)…
    • sexual innuendos are normal and OK ( Jessie, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Hannah Montana, etc.)…
    • kids should be dating AND kissing by the time they turn thirteen if that (Lizzie Macguire, Hannah Montana, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Good Luck Charlie, Phil of the Future, Shake it Up, Wizard’s of Waverly Place etc)…
    • You teach our girls that their appearance is more important than anything (your tween leads cake on more make up than Dolly Parton and you’re selling a T-shirt that describes Minnie as hot)…
    • And now… thanks to an ad campaign that pairs classic Disney characters with upscale fashion branding you are telling our kids that they need to be tall, thin and wear only the most expensive clothing. You went and made Minnie skinny. Gave Daisy eight foot legs, and put goofy in a leather jacket with what looks like a woman’s scarf around his neck.

I know that you still deliver quality entertainment now and then, Phineas and Pherb comes to mind. I know that you occasionally spotlight healthy eating or recycling, I know you’re not evil. I’m not saying that I hate you. I don’t. I’m not one of those extreme parents who thinks that my daughter will be brainless if she even looks at one of your princesses. In moderation, fairy tales make childhood wonderful. And you know what else? Dreams can come true. I’m just begging you to think about what you represent before beginning an ad campaign, or launching a line of clothing, or airing something on TV. Because you affect American culture… a lot. Whether I let my kids watch your TV or not, they will still be affected by you. You’re kind of a HUGE corporation and you make a big difference. So this is me… just one person… trying to also make a difference, pleading with you to think about America’s children in every action you take.

Sincerely,

Amber Mae

End Rant.