By Calvin Freiburger
Over the past several months, far-left entertainment giant Disney has been bolder than ever in using its film and television output to promote LGBT “inclusion” around the world, with one notable exception: the Middle East.
Once a unifying cultural institution, Disney has in recent years steadily infused left-wing politics into the army of entertainment properties it owns, from appeasing LGBT “representation” demands in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to firing and publicly defaming conservative former Star Wars actress Gina Carano to the selling of LGBT “pride” merchandise.
In the United States, criticism of putting such content into products aimed at children has been largely ignored or denigrated. But Esquire reported that Disney has decided not to release “culturally sensitive” content such as Lightyear or Baymax on the Middle East version of its Disney+ streaming service. However, LGBT-infused content aimed at teen or older audiences, such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, will continue to see release.
“Content offerings differ across our many Disney+ markets, based upon a number of factors. Content available should align with local regulatory requirements,” the company said.
“Disney+ Middle East’s content strategy thus appears to follow the standard set by the United Arab Emirates’ regulatory body,” Esquire added, “which has approved the release of adult-focused films such as Doctor Strange 2 and Thor: Love and Thunder despite cultural sensitivities, adding an age rating that limits their attendance from younger audiences, while banning films such as Lightyear as they are focused on child-audiences to begin with.”
The news follows a double standard displayed by most major corporations during June’s “Pride Month,” and reflects a persistent tension in so-called progressives’ dominant political strategy of playing to the perceived grievances of various groups based on ethnic, religious, or sexual identity, in that occasionally those groups’ dominant values can come into conflict.
In the United States, for instance, leftists regularly cast homosexuals, gender-confused individuals, and Muslims (among others) as ongoing victims of institutionalized discrimination and deep-seated cultural bigotry (despite the LGBT community enjoying so much cultural dominance that most corporations signal “pride” loyalty in the first place), yet majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East are known for subjecting homosexuals to violence and abuse largely unheard of in present-day America.
By contrast, in the United States, the labels “homophobia” and “transphobia” are commonly deployed against individuals who merely hold religious views of sexual morality incompatible with same-sex unions or object to the notion that gender is a malleable social construct while nevertheless treating same-sex-attracted or gender-confused individuals with compassion and respect.
Such inconsistency is nothing new for Disney, which maintains a relationship with the authoritarian Communist regime of China despite its treatment of its Uighur Muslim population, many of whom have been placed in camps and subjected to torture, forced abortion, and sterilization.
Disney drew widespread criticism for filming its live-action Mulan remake in China in the Xinjiang province in which Uighur Muslims are reportedly oppressed, and then thanking the “publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee.” Critics have also slammed the corporation for scrubbing content deemed unacceptable by the Chinese government.