Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer once attacked The Walt Disney Company for what he deemed its “endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle from a company that had traditionally been family-oriented.”
Media outlets have aggressively reported on the claims from Schweizer's upcoming anti-Clinton book, which purports to find suspicious links between donations to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's State Department policies. Several errors in the book have already been uncovered, and many outlets have admitted the book presents “little evidence” for its claims.
The factual errors are unsurprising given Schweizer's extensive history of retractions and inaccuracies, but Schweizer's resume also includes publishing a screed against Disney's “thriving gay subculture.”
In the 1998 book Disney: The Mouse Betrayed, Schweizer and his wife Rochelle Schweizer set out to investigate the dark side of Disney, and they claim that what they uncovered “was downright disturbing -- even shocking.” Their book touches on a wide range of offenses, and includes an entire chapter devoted to “growing gay activism” at the corporation.
The Schweizers document Disney's gay-friendly hiring policies, noting “gay employees fill a variety of roles at the company,” even explaining that founder Walt Disney stood by an animator arrested in the 1930s on a charge of homosexuality. But they complain that things have changed, since “in the past homosexuality among Disney artists and employees never became a political issue.”
According to them, Disney's gay activism “extends beyond company employment policy. It also exerts a strong influence on the environment at the Magic Kingdom and on the sorts of projects Mickey and his friends are now taking on.” This, the Schweizers insist, is part of the “larger issue surrounding a clash between the old Disney and the new ... those who favor Disney's traditional way of entertainment and those who champion a new way that often infuses the Disney experience with gay themes, characters, and stories.”
Key among the Schweizers' fears is “the Minnie Mouse stunt,” in which they claim men at Disney World secretly dress up as the female mouse to flirt with unsuspecting park visitors, “embarrassing male guests.” In fact, Schweizer sees cross-dressing everywhere at Disney World:
...a female dancer lets a male musician perform in her stead and in her clothes; on the steps of Cinderella's Castle, a Christmas pageant is transformed into a drag show for knowing employees when male performers dress in women's costumes. RuPaul, the transvestite entertainer, has performed at Disney World.
But it's not just cross-dressing the Schweizers think is degrading Disney; their sources give them “evidence of the thriving gay subculture 'everywhere,'” such as a costumed Donald Duck employee who “seductively whispers 'fag' as he walks by.”
One anonymous employee complains: “They won't even hide it anymore.”
As an example, the Schweizers launch into an extensive investigation into the “collusion” between corporate Disney and an annual “Gay Day” celebration at Disney World, which coincides with LGBT Pride month. According to them, Gay Day features “outrageous behavior” from attendees, including “public same-sex kissing, flagrant costumes, confrontational T-shirts, and so forth.”
The threat of T-shirts is compounded by special features at the park, such as the “double entendre” snack sign “Liberate Your Appetite,” and the fact that cast members “have been known to sprinkle gay comments throughout the shows.” For a time, Schweizer writes, corporate Disney came up with “a reasonable solution” for these supposed-problems by announcing the Gay Day celebrations at front ticket booths, which “at least alerted unsuspecting guests to what they might see inside the gates. But the signs soon came down. Gay Day organizers thought they were offensive.”
“Disney's gay culture” also extends to the films and TV shows the company produces, according to the couple. “Animated features now include 'gay characters,'” for instance. (Schweizer doesn't specify which characters he's referring to here; in another section of the book, however, he quotes the voice actors for The Lion King's Timon and Pumba who described the duo as “the first homosexual Disney characters.”)
The Schweizers also attack Disney for being “aggressive about pushing the gay theme” on Ellen, the '90s sitcom in which Ellen DeGeneres' character came out as a lesbian, and which aired on the Disney-owned ABC Network. They note that Disney produced a number of made-for-TV films, which “championed some controversial gay themes.” The merits of the shows were unimpressive to the Schweizers: “Why Disney is producing this programming is anybody's guess. The made-for-TV films on gay subjects have performed poorly.”
Regardless of the shows' success, the Schweizers seem resigned to the “new” Disney, with its commitment to diversity. The fact, they write, “that Disney keeps trying to make gay projects succeed may be evidence of Disney's changing identity.”
Schweizer's website includes a page labeled “All Books,” listing his published works. Disney: The Mouse Betrayed is not included.
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