Everyone probably already knew this, but Disney has a research department aimed at finding out how to best ensnare young children’s minds. One of their researchers is Kelly “the Kid Whisperer” Pena. The article says:
Her undercover mission: to unearth what makes him tick and use the findings to help the Walt Disney Company reassert itself as a cultural force among boys.
It’s funny that they mention Anne Sweeney. I actually wrote to Anne Sweeney regarding Miley Cyrus’s racism, along with many others. Of course she didn’t respond. The entire Asian American blogosphere was up in arms over the racism, but Disney listened instead to the paid consultants who deliver the dollars vs. the millions of Asian Americans who have endured the violence accompanied by that racist gesture.
I believe that the stance (or lack of a stance) that Disney took with Miley Cyrus is morally wrong. It’s racism supported by a large institution–Miley crossed from individual to brand a long time ago, and they failed to manage their brand. Disney has tons of money invested in how to best spread a particular message and capture the minds of a particular segment of the young population. I’m not blaming them for expansion–their primary responsibility is to their shareholders. Nor am I saying that we should go crazy over another slight. But it’s clearly wrong, and I believe we should be aware. We’re probably not going to win this battle, but let’s set a foundation so that we can build and influence our young kids to move into a different direction.