My Letter to Disney

See my letter below.  If you want to contact the same people, download my Disney contact data file here and do a mail merge from your main document.  (Every activist should know how to do a mail merge.  If you don’t, check out the tutorial here.)  All you have to pay is the money for the stamp. The OCA and Organization of Chinese Americans are not included in my contact list–for them, I handwrote the addresses and cover letters.  I sent all of my letters on February 17th, 2008.  So far, I’ve only heard back from one recipient–OCA.  I’m glad that OCA stands behind us Asian Americans.  Very few others seem to be listening.

As I mentioned during the AA Movement podcast, I think we need to redefine victory.  In this case, Disney is a behemoth that promotes whatever agenda it wants.  My goal is to raise awareness.  If I succeed in making my voice heard, it’s a victory.

Anyway, I encourage everyone to send their own letters to Disney.  As I also mentioned in the podcast, racism should not be “business as usual.”

My letter:

Mr. Rich Ross
President
Disney Channel Worldwide
3800 W Alameda Ave #2026
Burbank, CA 91505

Dear Mr. Ross:
I am writing to express my grave disappointment in your employee Miley Cyrus’s recent behavior after she and her friends were caught making a racist gesture against Asian people.  See the picture below, along with links to the story.
[Ugly picture of Miley, Chuck Willis, and Co.]

http://www.actressarchives.com/news.php?id=14627

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,487444,00.html

http://www.ocanational.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=501&Itemid=94

Since the picture hit the tabloids, Cyrus has made two half-hearted so-called apologies, saying that she was only “making a goofy face” and that she is “sorry if the photo of me with my friends offended anyone.”  In other words, she believes it’s a problem with Asian Americans being offended rather than her own racist actions. In this day and age, it’s absolutely ridiculous that anyone—celebrity or not—would publicly deny the significance of those gestures and excuse them as simply a “goofy face.” As an Asian American, I personally have experienced that gesture on the playground, along with the violence that often followed.  I’m not the only one.  It has symbolic meaning for countless Asian American children who experience racial violence every day, and I have no doubt that it also has symbolic meaning for those who perpetuate this horrible racial violence.  Cyrus has yet to acknowledge that her gesture was racist, nor has she taken responsibility for the damage her actions have caused.

As Hannah Montana, a role she has assumed through her involvement with Disney, Cyrus holds an inordinate amount of power and influence over today’s young people.  More than two weeks after this picture surfaced, she still has yet to apologize.  It’s a racist gesture.  Had she shown up in a picture wearing blackface or acting in a racist manner towards Jewish Americans, her career would be over, but because Asian Americans are a minority with little political and social power, it has hardly raised an uproar.  By refusing to apologize and make amends for her actions, Cyrus has shown the world her true colors, and she has refused to take responsibility as a role model supported (and created) by Disney. Disney is the largest children’s entertainment company in the world, and the company should not be aiding and abetting Ms. Cyrus’s message through the Hannah Montana franchise.

There are millions, perhaps billions, of children whom Disney influences through its media channels and stories.  Countless children go through the Magic Kingdom every year, hearing the lyrics sung about how “it’s a small world after all,” and watching children of all ethnicities and races holding hands in peace and harmony.  Is Ms. Cyrus’s racial denigration of Asian people really a value that Disney wants to perpetuate?  Since Ms. Cyrus has refused to apologize, I believe Disney should be evaluating whether or not she fits the mission and objectives of your company.  This circus that Ms. Cyrus has created has been going on for two weeks, and I hope you will rectify this situation within the next two weeks.

Sincerely,

Byron Wong
Parent of two young Asian American children
Portland, Ore.
[my phone number]

Recipient List:
The Organization of Chinese Americans
The Committee of 100

Michael Poryes, Executive Producer, Hannah Montana
Steven Peterman, Executive Producer, Hannah Montana
Rich Ross, President, Disney Channel Worldwide

The Walt Disney Company
Robert Iger, President and CEO
Kevin Mayer, Executive VP, Corporate Strategy
Zenia Mucha, Executive VP, Corporate Communications
Dennis W. Shuler, Chief Human Resources Officer
Anne Sweeney, President, Disney-ABC Television Group

Disney Board of Directors:
John E. Pepper, Chairman of the Board
Alwyn B. Lewis, Potbelly Sandwich Works
John S. Chen, Sybase
Judith L. Estrin, Packet Design
Robert Matschullat

18 thoughts on “My Letter to Disney

  1. Below is a casting call for the Imagination Movers and it brings to mind the agenda of Disney and subsequently the participation of every member of the Mover’s production in a racially bias agenda.

    ——————–
    Imagination Movers wants you to work with us on Thursday April 9th in New Orleans.

    This is a paid job ($118 per day).

    If you fit the description below and want to work on the television series Imagination Movers please email Pepper at P***********@*****com (YOU MUST INCLUDE A PICTURE AND YOUR AVAILABILITY).

    If you dont fit the descriptions listed below but you know someone who does please forward this information to them so they can work on this fun project.

    Please reply asap. Thank you and I look forward to working with you soon.

    CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

    ONE ETHNIC MALE (AFRICAN AMERICAN/HISPANIC/ASIAN/LATINO, ETC) ANY AGE BUT YOU MUST BE ABLE TO HAM IT UP ON FILM (BE REALLY SILLY/CHUCKLE, ETC)

    ONE ETHNIC WOMAN (AFRICAN AMERICAN/HISPANIC/ASIAN/LATINO, ETC) ANY AGE BUT YOU MUST BE ABLE TO HAM IT UP ON FILM (BE REALLY SILLY/CHUCKLE, ETC)

    ONE ETHNIC BABY AND THE BABIES MOTHER (AFRICAN AMERICAN/HISPANIC/ASIAN/LATINO, ETC) THE BABY NEEDS TO BE 12 MONTHS OLD OR YOUNGER AND CAN BE ANY GENDER. THE MOTHER CAN BE ANY AGE.

    Again, if you meet the description of a character listed above please email a picture and your interest/availability to Pepper ar P***********@*****com.

    PLEASE DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANK YOU.

    Pepper
    ———————–

    They are obviously trying to promote racial harmony by representing minorities in their shows however their methods show the true governing attitude behind it. They are offering employment to any man, woman or child to the exclusion of one racial type. This makes one wonder how ‘ethnic’ looking a person has to be. Can they be mixed or of some eastern European descent so long as they don’t appear to be too anglo? Would a Swede or Ukrainian do as well as an Inuit or Colombian? Why are they lumping all non-caucasians together and adopting the attitude that one is basically the same as the other?

    There it is.

  2. hey… do you have easy access to the folks behind the show Lost? They’re on ABC, which is owned by Disney. I want to commend them for the latest episode of Lost, “Some Like it Hoth,” a well-done Miles-centric episode.

  3. Wow!

    I used to watch Lost, then life got too busy. With a show like that, if you miss too many episodes, it’s hard to get back in.

    The producers are Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. You can probably contact them in care of ABC, and you can contact ABC here:

    http://abc.go.com/site/faq.html#1

    If Lost is good, it probably would make them feel good to know about it. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I’ve done this for some newspaper articles that I felt reported a clear and fair story.

    I’m guessing that you could probably contact the Disney execs from the Excel file.

    Good to know that there are some positive things taking place in the media!

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  6. the producers should stop so random its not very good.Demi lavato should still be on there it was way better.Just stop so random

  7. so random should stop erring on disney it was better with demi lavato. i dont like it just stop the show its worth it.

  8. I am 12yrs old and i think they should make a bald disney princess for little girls with cancer so they can feel pretty to also so they can have someone to look up to thats like them!!!!

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  11. Dear Diseny,

    You guys say you care and that you will change but you never do your still siting here in failure .Go back to you good days making good promos and shows . First of make more cartoons you had a lot back than . You started having old shows on at nite when people would be asleep that is just mest up. You should have a block of all your classic shows at about 7:00 on Friday .cartoon network has it and also nick has it their getting better but come on diseny you need to get you head in the game.i shaw Lizzie migure come one once at nite but that was once.i use to stay up at nite to watch your classics but now you don’t do that put all your shows on diseny xd and put the olds on diseny and playhouse diseny was good but diseny junior really come on bring all of it back and stop being greedy think about the viewers so come on you got to take this big step than you will get your money .you also keep the same schedule and the same shows we get it its getting boring.And take of dog with a blog there is no humor what so ever I never laugh once just take it off. I bet you use the laugh track if there was a live studio audience their will be no laugh .

  12. I AGREE WITH NAIMA CLARK.I MUST TO SAY THAT YOU SHOULD START YOUR OLD CLASSIC SHO LIKE THAT’S SO REVEN, HANNA MONTANA, THE SUIT LIFE OF ZACK & CODY, WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE ECT. I USE TO STAY UP NIGHT TO WATCH LIZZE MIGURE SHO COME ONE ONCE AT NIGHT BUT THAT WAS ONCE. COME ON YOU TAKE THIS BIG STAPE THEN YOU WILL GET YOUR GOOD PROMOS.

  13. I AGREE WITH AYSZ AND I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE SOME SORT OF COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR NEW SHOW. SINCE YOU GUYS CHANGE EVERYTHING I HATE WATCHING DISNEY CHANNEL I FEEL ITS SO STUPIT IT DOSEN’T GRAB MY ATTENTION LIKE IT ONCE DID. SO PLZZZZZ DO SOMETHING & START YOUR OLD CLASSIC SHOW…..

  14. I DONT WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING WITH DISNEY CHANNEL BUT YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO BRAINS AT ALL. CAN YOU PLEASE BRING BACK THE OLD DISNEY.

  15. PLZZZ DISNEY CHANNEL BRING BACK THE SUIT LIFE OF JACK & CODY, HANNA MONTANA, THAT’S SO REVEN MANY MORE.THOSE WERE AMAZING SHOWS. DONT SHO THEM AT NOGHT WHEN NOBADY IS AWAKE.

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