Disney has pulled their film, Beauty and the Beast, in Malaysia, after a seconds-long “gay moment” is cut.
As one involved in helping the same-sex attracted community and who does not shy away from public discourse on topics like this, I like to offer a little insight to what I see happening in this new development.
Firstly, by including the scene, Disney is not helping same-sex attracted persons in any way. If you have read my article, you will understand that helping a same-sex attracted and pushing an agenda are two very different issues. Let’s not get confused. As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbour and offer our help to those in need. However, this is not quite the same as supporting the same-sex marriage agenda, or promoting homosexual stimulus in society. On the contrary, if one truly loves the same-sex attracted community, he would have walked with them enough to know that facts and reality on the ground are very different from the kind of indoctrination projected by activists on all fronts. Statistics don’t lie. People and agendas do.
Secondly, I absolutely value and love my same-sex attracted friends. In fact, I know them not just as individuals. I know not only those who have publicly shared about their struggles. I had personally walked with persons – some have found restoration in their identity and freedom in their soul. I also know of whole communities who had struggled with homosexuality, but found freedom in Christ. God has made provision for our struggles. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Many of their identities have been restored, or are being restored. This is the narrative that almost never get out in a secular society – but the stories are real and are out there for those who really wish to find out. It is important that everyone starts to acknowledge there are biases against faith-based help, and hence, a lack of true academic freedom in this topic in public discourse.
But the most important point I want to make with this post is to attempt to read into the values and intent of what Disney did in Malaysia – pulling the censored Beauty and the Beast. I am keeping this post short by not bringing up theological arguments, but practical and philosophical ones. There are 3 possible assumptions of what Disney’s intent is.
Scenario One: Disney believes they hold positive values that parents can agree with
Disney genuinely believes that the gay scene in the movie is a wholesome or positive one. They carry a genuine intent to promote good.
However, if is so, why do they have to be so reactive to Malaysia’s censorship?
Yes they might have been disappointed if they really believe that cut scene is a positive one, but, wouldn’t they have taken the opportunity to promote the rest of the show? If their intention is genuine, and 99.5% of the movie is still wholesome and children are going to benefit from it, why not?
Why be so insistent on a questionable scene that they probably already know is controversial and will contravene the censorship laws and the moral norms of some countries?
Are they really interested to promote good for children? Surely one won’t believe that they are acting in kindness and being helpful in promoting good by aggressively pulling the film.
Scenario Two: Disney is neutral and doesn’t care about values
Disney is neutral about holding on to any values. Despite being a trusted brand, they do not really care about whether they educate children wholesomely or if children’s lives are negatively impacted.
It is up to each director they hire to project their own values – if any.
But this point is unlikely either. If it is about the director’s personal values, then Disney, as a profit-making company would probably not want to hurt their bottom-line by pulling out the film. So, even if the director’s values are compromised, it wouldn’t bother them as they would have been neutral about it.
Scenario Three: Disney actually holds on to negative values parents need to be careful about. Disney is intent on imposing their values on those who disagree.
Disney actually holds on to negative values and are intent on pushing questionable values, even if parents are largely concerned. Despite years of good entertainment with cartoons like Mickey Mouse and movies like Stitch which taught children how precious families are, the people behind Disney have either changed with time or decided to reveal their hidden agenda.
This means Disney is no longer interested in promoting wholesome values, despite knowing they are a global household brand, loved and trusted by children and parents. They are now more interested in imposing their questionable agenda to children, and will go to great lengths to do so. They wanted this scene to be shown so that their indoctrination can be underway. If this is a prime objective, then, even if they should lose their reputation, money, or have bad press raised against them, they would persist with the scene – it is critical to them in fulfilling their agenda. Hence, for the sake of keeping to the integrity of what they are after – the indoctrination of children – they would pull the film from countries that cuts that scene away, sending a message to every other country their strong intent of pushing an agenda.
And the third scenario is exactly what had happened when Disney pulled the film out of Malaysia after the censors cut the “gay moment” in accordance with their law.
Some may claim that perhaps Disney is upset that it’s artistic integrity is compromised. But this is a moot point, as it essentially affirms scenario 3 on the basis that artistry is more important than values, hence, it is ok to have artistry that harms (it’s the same ground that Playboy can be justified to be art and not pornography).
There is no neutrality when it comes to values. The Biblical reality is that the world is divided into God’s kingdom and that which Satan rules over. You either promote something which helps, or you promote something which harms. For Disney to have made such a strong move against the backdrop of reputation and trust they have gained from parents and children, they must have done their calculation. They have made a clear point, that they will not hesitate to use their power and expertise to groom, and to continue grooming unsuspecting children and parents. One would be in denial to believe they are primarily about wholesome values and the good of children. It will also be foolish to not identify the underlying schemes through clearly revealed evidence.
In closing, I would like to address one group of parents – those who have appreciated Disney, but are now struggling to make a stronger decision on this matter. We can continue to love the entertainment provided, support Disney’s ventures, and choose to watch this movie with our children, teaching them to discern the good and bad. This is the least we must do. However, can I also gently point this out: we are also contributing to a corporation that has no qualms in betraying the trust of parents and children, because of their refusal to back down from their intent to indoctrinate children harmfully. While to watch the movie with our children and teaching them to discern any bad values may preserve our own, indirectly, we have also said, “heck to the rest of the children whose parents are not as conscientious as I am.” I always reject a “self-preservation” position mainly because I am called to love my neighbours as myself. Also, can I say this: our self-preservation may work for a limited time only, as we are actually indirectly fueling our children to be addicted to Disney’s entertainment, while getting desensitized to the continued poison. How long can this last? Would our children gradually see us as parents with convictions that amount to nothing? Would we ultimately prepare our children for failure? For when the crunch time comes where one really needs to make a stand, we would be found wanting (read Revelations).
Disney has made a point. Parents, it is now up to us. What say you?