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Arnold Ahlert / May 13, 2021

A Mickey Mouse Operation

Disney goes woke in a big way with racist indoctrination for employees.

For decades, the term “Mickey Mouse operation” has been used to describe something that is trite, trivial, or intellectually wanting. Perhaps no other corporation in the world could be better described as one than the company that created Mickey Mouse himself. A damning exposé produced by Christopher F. Rufo, one of the few genuine investigative reporters left in America, reveals the Walt Disney Corporation has “elevated the ideology of critical race theory into a new corporate dogma, bombarded employees with trainings on ‘systemic racism,’ ‘white privilege,’ ‘white fragility,’ and ‘white saviors,’ and launched racially segregated ‘affinity groups’ at the company’s headquarters.”

The program is called “Reimagine Tomorrow” and Rufo obtained documents related to it, courtesy of multiple Disney employees-turned-whistleblowers. Whistleblowers who requested anonymity due to fear of reprisals. While Rufo states the original intent of the program might have been noble, the employees say it has become deeply politicized and engulfed much of the company in racial conflict.

Rufo reveals the details of this contemptible agenda in all its race-baiting and “equity”-enforcing glory:

The core of Disney’s racial program is a series of training modules on “antiracism.” In one, called “Allyship for Race Consciousness,” the company tells employees that they must “take ownership of educating [themselves] about structural anti-Black racism” and that they should “not rely on [their] Black colleagues to educate [them],” because it is “emotionally taxing.” The United States, the document claims, has a “long history of systemic racism and transphobia,” and white employees, in particular, must “work through feelings of guilt, shame, and defensiveness to understand what is beneath them and what needs to be healed.” Disney recommends that employees atone by “challeng[ing] colorblind ideologies and rhetoric” such as “All Lives Matter” and “I don’t see color”; they must “listen with empathy [to] Black colleagues” and must “not question or debate Black colleagues’ lived experience.”

In another module, called “What Can I Do About Racism?,” Disney tells employees that they should reject “equality,” with a focus on “equal treatment and access to opportunities,” and instead strive for “equity,” with a focus on “the equality of outcome.” The training also includes a series of lessons on “implicit biases,” “microaggressions,” and “becoming an anti-racist.” The company tells employees that they must “reflect” on America’s “racist infrastructure” and “think carefully about whether or not your wealth, income, treatment by the criminal justice system, employment, access to housing, health care, political power, and education might be different if you were of a different race.”

Few things are more breathtakingly bankrupt than a company that was once a cultural icon of artistic creativity suddenly deciding that rank quota-mongering should replace the meritocracy that produced it.

And not just quota-mongering. Segregation is also part of the mix. The aforementioned “affinity groups” Disney created for minority employees are about finding “culturally authentic insights.” Thus, Latinos are grouped under the name “Hola,” the Asian group is called “Compass,” and the black group is called “Wakanda.”

Disney has partnered with the YWCA to implement what they call the “21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge,” which defaults to the basic premise that America is a systemically racist nation. It “recommends” that white employees learn about their “privilege” and fill out a checklist in that regard. Options on the checklist include “I am white,” I am heterosexual,“ "I am a man,” “I still identity as the gender I was born in,” “I have never been raped,” “I don’t rely on public transportation,” and “I have never been called a terrorist.”

At the end of the program, white employees are told they must learn to “pivot” from “white dominant culture” to “something different.” What they are advised to reject are concepts such as “competition,” “power hoarding,” “comfort with predominantly white leadership,” “individualism,” “timeliness,” and “comprehensiveness.”

In short, with the exceptions of “power hoarding” and comfort with “predominantly white leadership,” everything else they are told to reject are concepts that define valuable employees. For example, how does one operate a huge theme park if showing up for work on time and taking a comprehensive approach to one’s workplace responsibilities are presumably inadvisable because they are racist attributes?

A customer at Disney’s theme park in Orlando, self-described as an “out-of-touch white American dad,” was less than enchanted with the company’s insufferable wokeness. “Recently, Disney announced that cast members are now permitted to display tattoos, wear inclusive uniforms and display inclusive haircuts,” he writes. “Disney did all of this in the name of allowing cast members to express themselves. The problem is, I’m not traveling across the country and paying thousands of dollars to watch someone I do not know express themselves. I am there for the immersion and the fantasy, not the reality of a stranger’s self-expression.”

Disney’s current relationship with its employees is somewhat disingenuous. In 2014, the company hired foreign workers who came to America via the nation’s H-1B visa program to replace hundreds of its domestic employees. Those workers were reportedly paid lower wages than their American counterparts, who were not only required to train their replacements but in many cases required to train them as a condition of receiving severance pay and bonuses.

The corporation’s commitment to “wokeness” is similarly hypocritical. When Disney released its live-action remake of the 1998 animated film “Mulan” last year, the movie’s credits included special thanks to more than a dozen Chinese institutions that helped produce it. Four of them were Chinese Communist Party propaganda departments in the region of Xinjiang, as well as the Public Security Bureau of the city of Turpan.

Washington Post columnist Isaac Stone Fish reveals why that gratitude is contemptible. “Disney has thanked four propaganda departments and a public security bureau in Xinjiang, a region in northwest China that is the site of one of the world’s worst human rights abuses happening today,” he explains.

Fish is referring to China’s Uyghur Muslim minority, a group that, for all intents and purposes, provides slave labor to its Chinese overlords. In short, Disney “worked with regions where genocide is occurring, and thanked government departments that are helping to carry it out,” he adds. And not to be outdone, actress Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan, supported the brutal police crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.

How will this end? As Rufo notes, Disney’s existence has always revolved around providing escapist entertainment. Wokeness and the incessant self-righteous, politically correct sermonizing that attends it are the antithesis of escapism. Will Americans seeking to be entertained abide the blatant contempt the company demonstrates for a large portion of its potential customer base, based on nothing more than the color of those customers’ skin?

Disney has tried to distance itself from its own agenda, claiming Rufo “misunderstood” the documents. In a series of rebuttal tweets, Rufo makes it crystal clear his reporting is accurate.

The public? Decent Americans of every race and ethnicity should “reimagine tomorrow” — without a Micky Mouse operation like Disney in it.


Update 5/21: Disney has scrubbed the training material from its website, but beware its return in another guise.

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