Walt Disney believed in a better future. “Tomorrow will be better,” he once said, “for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life.”

Unfortunately, for the company he founded, that “better future” seems to be slipping away.

Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company made the “grave mistake” of not publicly condemning Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. To the LGBTQ Twitter mob, this was, of course, intolerably bad.

The mob demanded Disney repent and alter course, and in a move that shocked no one, the company caved.

Like most companies do when confronted with the wrath of the statistically insignificant LGBTQ crowd, the multi-billion dollar conglomerate fell to its knees, begging for mercy, swearing to do penance for its sin.

Not only did it break its corporate silence on the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, Disney promised future films would incorporate “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters” and a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda.”

The religious right protested this decision and parents launched a massive boycott of Disney.

Now, four months later, we’ll examine the entertainment giant’s latest slate of releases and consider whether the backlash against Disney was justified or if ticked off parents were simply letting off some steam:

First, at the center of the debate, is Lightyear, an animated spinoff of the iconic Toy Story franchise.

Before the “Don’t Say Gay” controversy, Disney allegedly planned to allude to a character’s same-sex relationsionship in the family film. Following the controversy, however, Disney–still in atonement for its failures–ramped up the movie’s LGBTQ content, announcing that it would now include a same-sex kiss.

To add insult to injury, left-leaning Chris Evans, who replaced Tim Allen, a conservative, to play the titular character, complained that those who disapproved of the same-sex kiss were “idiots.”

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The film suffered at the box office, becoming a rare Disney Pixar box office bomb. Entertainment media rushed to defend the film, insisting that its abysmal performance had nothing to do with the film’s LGBTQ content. Some argued that Lightyear had suffered due to it being banned in China. Others wondered if “the market hasn’t quite recovered for family movies.”

Neither of these excuses hold up, however. Over the past several months, multiple films have been denied Chinese releases (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Top Gun: Maverick) yet still performed exceptionally well at the box office. Then, on the heels of Lightyear, Minions: The Rise of Gru became the highest-grossing animated film since before the pandemic, dispelling the myth that “the market hasn’t quite recovered for family movies.”

We can’t attribute Lightyear’s commercial failure solely to any one cause, but for as much as the entertainment industry wants to deny the film bombed “because of right-wing handwringing over a same-sex kiss,” this certainly played a part in it.

Next on the list is Thor: Love and Thunder.

The latest MCU entry references orgies, features nudity, and was lauded by actress Natalie Portman as the “gayest” Marvel movie yet. The film includes multiple LGBTQ innuendos: Valkyrie is bisexual and alludes to having been in relationships with multiple women. Korg, a rock-like alien, remembers his two dads and later “makes” a child of his own with another male member of his species.

In addition to being ranked one of the worst MCU films by critics, Love and Thunder, like Lightyear before it, experienced backlash from disappointed parents.

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“We are HUGE Marvel fans. Sad to think that that may be coming to an end if this type of content continues,” said one. “We are DONE with Marvel if this is what they plan to show,” another parent lamented.

In addition to these releases, Disney premiered Baymax!, an animated series for kids in which the eponymous character shops for feminine hygiene products and a “man” talks about the tampons he usually uses. The company also confirmed that Strange World–an upcoming family film–would prominently showcase a gay teen romance.

All of this, we can imagine, is just the beginning. The future of Disney is decidedly, openly and unashamedly LGBTQ. 

After Lightyear severely underperformed at the box office, conservatives mocked the entertainment studio. “Get woke, go broke,” they sneered.

But we must be honest with ourselves; Disney isn’t suffering.

The amount of money Disney continues to pull in, even after its LGBTQ revolution, is no laughing matter.

When the company first announced its “not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” conservatives touted that Disney+ had allegedly lost thousands of subscribers in a matter of days. Recent numbers, however, reveal that the streaming service’s global subscriber list stood at 137.7 million. By comparison, The Daily Wire, a counter-cultural media company prepared to invest $100 million into “anti-woke” kids’ content, has less than one million subscribers–an impressive number, no doubt, but one that pales in comparison to Disney’s.

Personally, I’m skeptical that the conservative boycott of Disney will ever cause the company to go broke or even reconsider its stance on gender theory. But maybe this isn’t about beating Disney. Maybe this is simply about doing what’s right.

Yes, Disney’s sexualized agenda is very real, which means our resolve not to support that agenda must be real, too. Ideally, the company would learn its lesson and recommit to providing family-friendly entertainment, but until that happens–if it ever does–we must remember that supporting these films only emboldens the studio to produce more content just like it.

Jakob Fay is a former SIA Coordinator and current writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance

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