Rest in peace, Snow White. There’s no Prince Charming who can rescue you, or any of us, now. Has the Evil Queen really won?
In a suspicious twist of timing, a Facebook memory popped up on my phone last week: My oldest daughter and I (when she was two), happy smiles and arms up, standing in front of Sleeping Beauty’s illustrious castle at Disneyland. The caption I wrote and shared back then said, “All hail princesses everywhere!” It was a type of innocent sentiment that most moms my age expressed when we took our daughters to Disneyland for the first time.
I laughed and then immediately felt hot tears rise and fall through my eyes because, as Disney has now certified, the words “princess, prince, boys and girls” are no longer acceptable greetings in their parks.
Dumbo has crashed. Alice has been beheaded by Wonderland’s deck of cards. Woody & Buzz Lightyear are stuck in that dump with no way out.
Disney’s breaking “not so secret agenda” (as most of us have now witnessed on video, from executive meetings) to de-gender, divide families and destroy the innocence of our children through entertainment and theme park directives has broken millions of parents’ hearts.
What’s more devastating? I saw this coming years ago as an entertainment reporter and digital media contributor who was once assigned to cover all things Disney for nearly a decade. The progression of themes, characters, dialogues and messaging in the entertainment giant’s movies, theme parks, television shows and digital offerings became more transparent with each year that passed. As someone who once sang each and every lyric of Snow White’s “I’m Wishing” song into the well outside of Sleeping Beauty’s Disneyland castle, I tried to reconcile it, ignore it, deny it.
The time has now come for all of us to see and speak the truth: Disney’s leaders are ultra-woke and have left all of us families who dare celebrate Walt Disney’s original vision to honor innocence, dreams-come-true and everlasting childhood to perish on Main Street. The “happiest place on earth” that I could once count on to create magical family memories, entertained by themes of love and friendship, is now injecting fringe ideologies and violating our parental trust without a shred of remorse.
In place of the once-inclusive magic, our children are now being smacked over the head with radicalized world views that wield a near-monopoly to shape culture. Instead of heroic adventures and triumphs that truly unite us — no matter what our family units might look like — our children are now subjected to indoctrination that is age-inappropriate and flat-out wrong to force onto families without our consent.
It’s none of my business what goes on in anyone else’s family life — every person, young or old, deserves dignity and respect. But newsflash: True inclusivity does not give license to insert complex adult issues, politics or radical narratives into family entertainment.
As parents, we have an immediate, hard responsibility to choose where we celebrate our families’ moments and milestones, how we entertain (and educate!) our children, and what we spend our hard-earned money on. I won’t be spending mine on poison apples, that’s for sure.
• Jill Simonian is a California mom and director of outreach for PragerU Kids, which provides free edutainment honoring American values and history for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.