The Escalating Violence of ‘Stranger Things’

Netflix’s flagship series “Stranger Things” enjoys a huge audience and has been praised by critics for its writing, directing, acting, and more.

If you aren’t familiar with the streaming series, the story is set in the 1980s and features a group of parents, teens, and kids who are trying to figure out why supernatural events are plaguing a small mid-western town.

Despite the fact that “Stranger Things” is a show about children and is highly attractive to children, it has a rating of TV-14, which indicates that some of its content may not be suitable for kids under the age of fourteen.

In each successive season since its initial debut, the media phenom appears to have amplified the violence contained within.

Seasons 2 and 3 are decidedly more brutal and graphic than Season 1 of the series.

Unfortunately, Season 4 of “Stranger Things” has descended to a base level of darkness that has parents, grandparents, and guardians of the innocent casting the program out of homes, schools, etc., and questioning whether the show has the proper rating attached to it.

In addition to gruesome imagery and intensely aggressive behavior, Season 4 of the streaming series contains inappropriate sexual scenes and unnecessary profanity.

A reasonable explanation for the increasing coarseness of programming content is hard to come by.

Writers could have maintained the Steven Spielberg-influenced style and technique of the early episodes, which made Season 1 so appealing to viewers.

Instead the show altered its approach and is using enhanced computer graphics to peddle emotionally-laden themes, which feature graphic torture scenes, some involving child victims.

A number of Season 4’s scenes are so extreme that Netflix has had to include a disclaimer, which appears at the beginning of the first episode of the season.

The Parent Television and Media Council (PTC), a nonprofit advocate of responsible entertainment, used technology to quantify the increase in violence and profanity in the fourth season of the series, relative to prior seasons.

By using the content-filtering capabilities of VidAngel, which is a video streaming service that removes anti-family content in shows and movies, PTC found that Season 4 had a significant spike in material that was objectionable to parents.

The group’s study indicated that the frequency of violence in “Stranger Things” had increased threefold, when compared to previous seasons. The study also indicated that graphic violence in the show had increased seven times, when compared to prior seasons.

Additionally, the use of crass language had increased markedly. According to the PTC’s study, the frequency of profanity in the series had doubled since Season 1.

As an example of profanity creep, the series contained zero instances of the f-word, until, that is, its second season, when the word was used six times.

During Season 3, use of the word increased to five times. And in Season 4, it jumped to nine times.

Under the guidelines system used by Netflix, a single use of the word would normally trigger a TV-MA content rating.

A statement issued by the PTC indicated that the profane words in “Stranger Things” were “once unthinkable for dialogue on programs rated as appropriate for 13- and 14-year-old children; but on Netflix they have become ubiquitous.”

The group came to the conclusion that the rating for the program needs to be changed, stating, “For a program with such multi-generational appeal, we were shocked to see the rapid rise of explicit adult content that includes profanity and graphic violence without Netflix increasing the TV-14 age rating to TV-MA.”

The sheer amount of unsuitable material in forms of violence, profanity, and sexual imagery prompted PTC President Tim Winter to send a letter to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, requesting the aforementioned change in the rating.

“While Netflix has never been afraid to use a TV-MA rating, we suspect it wants to attract a broad audience for ‘Stranger Things’ and has rated it TV-14 for that reason,” Winter said. “However, ‘Stranger Things’ later seasons are clearly being rated inappropriately considering the amount of explicit content.”

The PTA indicates in its letter that the mislabeling makes it hard for parents to do their jobs.

“It is imperative that the TV rating system is accurate in order to be useful to parents,” Winter said.

In addition to the previously stated objectionable material, Season 4 of the series ridicules religion and denigrates adult authority.

Unfortunately, the series has continued the idea that adult authority is dispensable and that children have greater wisdom than adults. Young characters in the series routinely deceive, falsify, undermine, and/or steal from adult characters in order to achieve their goals.

Where there’s awareness there’s hope. So as word about this issue gets out, the public just may get a ratings system that is once again accurate and reliable.

After all, stranger things have happened.

‘Lightyear’ Minus Tim Allen Equals a Flop

Hollywood is in love with franchises, and the public enjoys them too.

When it comes to entertainment industry product, franchises oftentimes provide a safe harbor for execs in the risky day-to-day struggle to come up with new projects.

Hard to believe, but a major Disney franchise recently went down in flames. It’s the latest in the “Toy Story” series.

Yes, “Lightyear,” Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” spin-off is a dud.

The movie tanked at the box office, taking in only $50 million domestically in its first week. And the following week it took a 65 percent dive, earning less than $18 million.

With a production budget of $200 million, and an additional $100 million or so in marketing costs, Disney is likely looking at a significant loss, despite the fact that the film was thought to be a sure shot.

Franchise power, in the conventional sense, was shown in the box-office performance of prior sequel “Toy Story 4,” which took in a haul of $120 million in its first week.

Moviegoers definitely didn’t show the same love for “Lightyear.”

There are two major reasons for the film’s apparent failure.

1. If you want to draw “Toy Story” franchise fans, it’s not a good idea to ditch the guy who made Buzz Lightyear famous in all four previous “Toy Story” flicks.

That’s right. The filmmakers left actor Tim Allen out of the project, despite the fact that Allen’s voice is what madeBuzz buzz.

A lot of excuses have been given as to why Allen was cut out.

Claims were made that Allen’s voice was the film-version voice of a toy, and the voice of “Captain America” actor Chris Evans is the film-version voice of a supposed living, breathing, real-life Buzz.

However, plenty of folks sense that politics are at play. That’s because fans of Allen’s successful “Last Man Standing” sitcom remember all too well that Disney-owned ABC inexplicably canceled the show at a time when it was still popular with the public.

“Lightyear”’s Evans-for-Allen swap prompted a number of celebrities to take to social media and express their chagrin over the decision.

– “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton used her Twitter account to post, “Disney/Pixar made a HUGE mistake in not casting my pal Tim Allen. Tim Allen in the role that he originated, the role that he owns. Tim IS Buzz! Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?”

– Tom Hanks, who voiced Buzz Lightyear’s sidekick Woody in previous films, entered the fray via a CinemaBlend interview that was posted on the publication’s Instagram account. The actor discussed how his film “Elvis” hit theaters at the same time as “Lightyear.”

“I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it,” Hanks said. “I don’t understand that.”

Allen revealed that quite a while back he had been in on discussions about the “Lightyear” concept, but the new spin-off didn’t have the same filmmakers involved as the original.

“We talked about this many years ago,” Allen said, and he remarked at the time, “What a fun movie that would be.”

He explained, “But the brass that did the first four movies is not [the same one]… this is a whole new team that had nothing to do with the first movies.”

2) A big reason for “Lightyear”’s tepid response is the unmistakable woke-influence. Inserted in an animated movie for children is a same-sex kiss.

The scene has resulted in “Lightyear” being banned in many locales that have typically welcomed Disney films, including the countries of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

It seems as though Disney has been on a self-destructive course. There have been a series of decisions that have led the public to believe that the company wants to shed its family-friendly brand.

Guess we can just chalk it up to one more thing we thought we’d never see –Mickey’s smile turned upside down.

Hollywood in Major Uproar over Roe v. Wade Reversal

Following the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, to return to the states the power to determine the legality of abortion, Americans now find themselves in a post-Roe v. Wade world.

What’s it like? In a word, awesome. But not for everyone.

Folks are still in disagreement with one another, perhaps more intensely than ever before.

We can’t even seem to come to terms with the premise that – there is no constitutional right to abortion but there is a fundamental right to life. So demonstrably obvious and yet so seemingly elusive.

Alongside the tragedy of abortion itself is the fact that we have fallen woefully short in bridging this divide.

Hollywood isn’t helping.

Celebrities of the pro-choice persuasion are using over-the-top language while simultaneously attempting to virtue-signal to the max. It’s occurring largely through social media.

Here’s a small sampling.

– Barbara Streisand tossed a mean tweet at the Supreme Court, re-labeling the revered judicial institution as the “American Taliban.”

– Aisha Tyler called the Roe v. Wade ruling a “terrible tragedy” and seemingly took a page from fellow past-and-present leftists in designating it as “a dark day in American history.”

– Halle Berry let it be known in writing that she was “outraged” and used the vulgar version of animal excrement to express her opinion on the Supreme Court decision.

– Alyssa Milano posted that the ruling would have “deadly consequences” and would be “hardest on people of color.”

– Patricia Arquette called the High Court decision an “absolute disaster.”

– Elizabeth Banks characterized the ruling as “devastating news.”

– Taylor Swift shared that she is “absolutely terrified.”

The melodrama wasn’t confined to Hollywood stars. Entertainment industry labor and trade organizations raged against the ruling as well.

– SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, and other media professionals, called the Roe v. Wade reversal “archaic and dangerous.” Issuing a statement, the union suggested that the Supreme Court’s ruling allows states to enact “draconian restrictions” on health care and that it will “destroy lives.”

Like other Hollywood organizations and companies, the union is providing money for employees to travel to the nearest location where they can obtain termination of pregnancy services, if they reside in states that have restrictions.

– The Directors Guild of America (DGA) “strongly condemned” the High Court’s ruling, calling it a “travesty.” In a statement, the DGA president opined that the ruling is putting “women’s lives at risk.”

The DGA also approved a new policy that provides financial assistance to DGA members who need to travel out of state in order to obtain abortion-related procedures.

– The Producers Guild of America, a nonprofit trade organization, issued a statement that characterized the Supreme Court decision as “deeply dangerous” and suggested that it would cause “untold harm.”

– Actors’ Equity Association, which represents actors and stage managers in live theater, called the ruling “a catastrophic step backwards for human rights.”

– The Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) West and the Council of the WGA East said in a joint statement that the decision will lead to “injury, death and the denial of basic human rights.”

– The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents singers, dancers and staging staff in opera, ballet and concert dance, released a statement indicating that the “system is broken” and went so far as to urge that “the legitimacy of the Supreme Court must be reevaluated.”

– IATSE, the union that represents behind-the-scenes film and television workers, called the Supreme Court’s ruling “one of the worst contractions of freedoms in modern U.S. history.”

The fact of the matter is six jurists, who comprised the majority in the ruling, courageously upheld the law, despite the intimidation tactics of the left in protesting in front of justices’ homes and even the apparent assassination attempt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The coercive efforts began with the strategic leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in May 2022. The stalwart six stood firm, and the Supreme Court as an institution gained strength.

On a positive note, there are still a sizable number of prominent and influential Hollywood stars, who have fought the good fight in defense of our babies and their right to live.

Included in this brave bunch are Patricia Heaton, Kelsey Grammer, Mel Gibson, James Caviezel, Chuck Norris, Celine Dion, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Kirk Cameron, Candace Cameron Bure, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber.

In the initial Roe v. Wade ruling, Justice Byron White wrote in his dissent that the decision was an “exercise of raw judicial power.”

It was.

The majority in that fateful case actually created out of whole cloth a constitutional right to abortion that didn’t exist in American common law and wasn’t present anywhere in the text of the Constitution.

When the raging of the left is long forgotten, the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which has now thankfully resulted in the reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, will be recognized as the High Court ruling that rectified one of the most egregious injustices in our nation’s history.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven.

Now, after almost fifty years have passed, a time for healing has begun.

Tom Cruise Returns to His Roots in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise is one of the biggest box-office stars of all times. And in a career that has spanned the decades he is once again wearing the crown.

Film-goers may remember Cruise for his initial breakout vehicle, the 1983 classic “Risky Business.”

Other hits would soon follow for the actor-producer; notably, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise series, which kicked off in 1996 and played out over six installments.

This is where Cruise really established his credentials as an action star. He reportedly performed many of his own stunts, a rare feat in a business that in many cases computer-generated action scenes have supplanted authentic ones.

He is presently sitting atop the box office, courtesy of his latest blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick.” The movie is the long-awaited sequel to his 1986 hit film “Top Gun.” Its Memorial Day weekend box-office tally rang in at over $150 million, making it the biggest debut of his career.

It’s been a long road for the movie’s 2022 release. Paramount Pictures first announced the idea in 2010 and secured from the original film the indispensable services of Cruise and Val Kilmer to reprise their roles.

Tony Scott, the first “Top Gun” director, was tapped to direct the sequel. Sadly, Scott passed away and pre-production was consequently halted. Years later Joseph Kosinski was brought in to handle the direction, and work on the project resumed. In a moving tribute, “Top Gun: Maverick” is dedicated to Scott’s memory.

Release of the sequel to “Top Gun” had been scheduled for July of 2019, but it was delayed until 2020 to allow additional time for some of the more complex action sequences to be filmed.

Paramount rescheduled the release to June 2020. But due to the onset of the pandemic, a new date of December was set. Then it was bumped to July 2021, and then to November as the studio and film industry attempted to cope with the unexpected prolonging of pandemic-related restrictions.

Writers painstakingly developed the characters with deference to the stars’ younger “Top Gun” selves.

In the case of Cruise’s character, Maverick’s romantic interest is portrayed by Jennifer Connelly. Her character’s name, Penny Benjamin, was brought up in dialogue in the original movie by Maverick’s Radar Intercept Officer and best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. The dialogue revealed Penny to be the “admiral’s daughter,” a family relationship that was inserted into the new sequel’s plot.

Maverick has a new assignment in the sequel, i.e., to train a group of young pilots for the Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, aka “Top Gun.” The crew of young aviators includes the son of Maverick’s now-deceased best friend, Goose.

In part because the new movie is a sequel to a film released over three decades ago, it includes themes that a whole lot of people have been hungering for. It is unapologetically pro-America, pro-military, and pro-manhood.

Social media posts tell the story of spontaneous hoots and hollers from gleeful movie attendees being emitted at cineplexes around the globe.

In Taiwan specifically, according to the Central News Agency of Taiwan, audiences who were present at the premiere of the film broke into applause and cheered at the sight of their national flag being displayed onscreen in the movie.

The Taiwanese and Japanese flags had reportedly been removed from a 2019 trailer because of China’s political demands.

“It is unprecedented,” Ho Siu Bun, a film critic in Hong Kong, told VICE.com. “Major film studios have never been shy about pandering to the Chinese market. And even if it is a simple scene, editing is very costly. So no one knows why they changed it back.”

China’s Tencent Pictures had been designated as an investor and marketing partner of the film. However, the Chinese company backed out of the business arrangement.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Tencent pulled out due to concerns that Chinese leaders might be miffed over the pro-military content of the film. It is presumed that Chinese officials would not pleased with the scene restoration of the Taiwanese and Japanese flags. So far “Top Gun: Maverick” has not been given a release date in China.

Cruise’s film, and the success it has experienced so far, brings up an important cultural issue that has seemingly received very little attention, but is deserving of public discourse.

Once upon a time Americans had a common bond in the television that they watched and the movies that they viewed. Hasn’t been that way for a while now.

But there really are palpable things that serve to bind any society together as a culture. One of these things is having a common body of literature, or in modern-day terms, a common body of entertainment fare. Something that everyone is tuned into at a given time.

These media components have the capacity to serve as a kind of glue that secures people together in a life experience. It also can translate into a unifying cultural dynamic.

One other film-related note deserves commentary.

“Top Gun: Maverick” is one of the first slices of entertainment media in quite a while that is not just entertaining. It is a nod to visceral manhood, which over time has been relegated to the cutting room floor.

Dog the Bounty Hunter’s Supernatural Assist

Most folks know Duane Chapman by his stage name, Dog the Bounty Hunter. He worked as a professional bounty hunter in the past, and he’s still at it.

Duane was ultimately able to parlay his work experience into TV stardom through a realty show based on his unique creds.

He became an international news item in 2003, when he apprehended Max Factor heir Andrew Luster. The keen interest and revved up publicity in the Luster story paved the way for his first reality series “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which ran for eight years on the A&E network.

After the show completed its run, Duane jumped into another reality show, along with his wife Alice Elizabeth, best known as “Beth.” The show, “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt,” was part of the CMT lineup. Another series, “Dog’s Most Wanted,” aired on WGN America.

In a sad turn of events, Beth lost her battle with throat cancer in 2019. Her health struggles were chronicled in an A&E series titled “Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives.”

Most recently, Duane appeared, via a vocal performance, on the hit television show “The Masked Singer.” Dressed in gold armadillo attire, he presented The Clash’s “I Fought The Law.”

Although voted off the show, he didn’t skip a beat. He immediately moved on to his next task, which involved a manhunt over a reported double murder in Moab, Utah.

Duane knows exactly what it’s like to be on the opposite side of the law. At age 15, he ran away from home and joined a biker gang. It was back in the 1970s, when he was manning a getaway car, that his friend shot and killed a man during a struggle that involved an illegal marijuana buy.

Convicted of first degree murder, Duane was sentenced to five years in a Texas prison and wound up serving 18 months at the State Penitentiary. Through it all, the future bounty hunter was guided to a deeper relationship with God.

In a recent appearance on “The Prodigal Stories Podcast,” he revealed some of the details of his faith journey. Duane’s mother was an Assemblies of God minister who believed in the power of prayer.

“She was a pastor. My mother … all day long, her whole life, all she did was pray for us,” he said.

Going to church was a routine part of his early life.

“We had to go to church,” he shared.

If he didn’t, his mom would take away the keys to his wheels.

Like many who are raised in a faith-filled home, at one point he fell away from his faith. It happened during his youthful tumultuous years.

Rationalizing, he thought, “[God is] not going to care really what I do as long as I say the blessing and keep God kind of first.”

Soon he discovered that trying to fool yourself about your relationship with your Maker can lead you down a very dark path. In Duane’s case, it was a crime-ridden one.

“After going to prison in the ‘70s in Texas for 18 months, I realized right then that, at the end of this rainbow of crime and all that, is not a bucket of gold, it’s a cell,” he said.

Despite his criminal conviction and prison sentence, Duane’s mother never gave up on improving her son’s spiritual standing. After serving his time and being released from jail, his mom found a way to minister to him during his sleeping hours.

“As I slept, my mom put on a recording of the Bible, and every morning, when I woke up, I’m like, ‘Mom, why did you?’ She’s like, ‘I don’t know who turned that on,’” Duane said.

As time passed, his mother’s efforts and prayers began to produce miraculous results.

“I started acting nice,” he said, understanding that it would be difficult to sustain.

“I’m an Indian outlaw, so I started acting like I wasn’t [nice]. Then I started thinking, ‘What would Jesus do right now?’”

Duane found out that virtue can actually become a habit.

“I started pretending to be good and, all the sudden, I started being good.”

During his long and successful career as a bounty hunter, he has captured thousands of fugitives. The hardships that he suffered enable him to help others in a way that very few can – a vessel of saving grace delivered to a fellow wayward traveler.

“I would capture guys and tell them, ‘Listen, man, I’ve been there, done that … we need supernatural help,’” he said.

The Prodigal Son who shows others how to get back home.

Disney Now Caught In Its Own Mousetrap

Disney has painted itself into a corner.

The predicament in which the entertainment media giant now finds itself is one that is self-made. It is also one from which the company is unlikely to escape unscathed.

Some of the policies implemented and statements recently made by a number of Disney’s top level executives have created a backlash from all sides of the ideological and cultural spectrum. And the whole thing may wind up being one of the worst public relations disasters in the history of corporate Hollywood.

It’s an unthinkable saga. Disney became the recipient of severe criticism over the company’s response to a proposed bill in Florida regarding parental rights in education.

Some of the company’s most vocal employees staged a pressure campaign against Disney management, urging executives to use their influence in Florida to oppose the bill H.B. 1557.

Reported statements made by Disney resulted in customers and even some employees taking offense. Also placed in jeopardy were special legislative privileges that had previously been bestowed on Disney.

In a nationwide campaign, critics of the legislation, along with a complicit media, mischaracterized the bill, portraying H.B. 1557 as an anti-speech bill.

But the legislation did not ban specific words or any type of informal classroom discussion. Additionally, it did not require schools to notify parents concerning a child’s gender identification. What it did do was protect children in school settings from being introduced to ideas that were not age appropriate.

The Mouse House, which frequently remains silent on issues of societal and ethical importance to our own country and the world abroad, loudly condemned the duly passed Florida legislation.

But it became official. Despite the hubbub, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Florida bill into law.

Adding to the company’s troubles, several leaked videos surfaced of a virtual meeting in which Disney executives vowed to depict more “transgender and gender-nonconforming” characters in future productions.

The footage led to the impression that the company had betrayed its core audience, particularly adults who merely desired to have their little ones entertained and not indoctrinated.

Internally, there are some who disagree with the stance of the company for which they work. We may come to find that they actually comprise a majority of Disney employees. In any event, they released an open letter to the press and social media.

In their own words, the group of employees indicated that Disney’s response to the Florida law has made them feel as if they don’t belong “in a company actively promoting a political agenda so far removed from our own.”

The letter was anonymous and clearly stated the reason for its anonymity. “[Those] of us who want the company to remain neutral can say so only in a whisper out of fear of professional retaliation,” it read.

Seems like forever that Disney has been in existence. Over the years the company has been mindful of the importance of safeguarding its family brand, and more importantly, the minds and imaginations of the children entrusted to them by parents, grandparents, and guardians of youthful innocence.

This was a reputation that above all else was worth more than all the gold that the Magic Kingdom can hold.

Management right now is playing a villain that Captain Hook could never have matched. In addition to the promised introduction of a panoply of gender characters, the leaked videos also made the announcement that at Disney’s theme parks around the world, and presumably in its productions, references to phrases such as “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” will no longer be used.

This stance places the company in another PR pickle. Its website lists merchandise that is offered in the categories of “women’s,” “men’s,” “girls,” and “boys.”

Lots of royal characters are also in danger of being de-throned. Beloved princesses such as “Sleeping Beauty”’s Princess Aurora, “The Little Mermaid”’s Princess Ariel, and “Aladdin”’s Princess Jasmine may have their tiaras snatched away. And princes such as “Cinderella”’s Prince Charming, “Sleeping Beauty”’s Prince Phillip, and “Frozen”’s Prince Kristoff better watch their own crowns.

The primary assets of The Mouse House are found in its ownership of the original characters and stories. Over the years, Congress has extended Disney’s valuable copyright many times, due to the company’s successful lobbying efforts.

When Mickey Mouse first publicly emerged, the copyright law granted 56 years of protection. Mickey’s copyright would have expired in 1984, and the character would have become public domain. If that had occurred, anyone would have been allowed to use the animated celebrity without having to ask Disney’s permission or pay compensation.

However, before the 1984 expiration date hit, Congress passed an extension, which moved Mickey’s copyright expiration to 2003.

Then before the 2003 deadline arrived, Congress passed a revision, which extended Mickey’s protection deadline to January 1, 2024.

Now Disney faces the possibility that it could lose its valuable ownership of Mickey, should the 2022 midterm elections turn out to be favorable toward the GOP and Republicans become the House majority. This could result in significant losses for the entertainment giant.

House Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Indiana) has sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, indicating that he will support the 2024 expiration of the Mickey Mouse copyright.

Mickey would then no longer be Disney’s property, but he would instead belong to the public-at-large. The entertainment company’s plans to present inappropriate sexual material to young children is what led Rep. Banks to conclude that he will not support any further extensions of Disney’s copyrights.

Rep. Banks also noted that Disney maintains a close business relationship with China. In his letter, the congressman noted that the company “…has allied with a hostile foreign regime and domestic ideologues who seek to tear our country apart.”

If all of this weren’t enough to make Disney do a quick turnabout, there is a strong possibility that the company may experience a significant loss of privilege in the way it has managed the Sunshine State’s Disney World.

Gov. DeSantis has announced that he is “receptive” to altering a decades-long state law that gives Disney the power to self-govern its Disney World properties.

Florida lawmakers have already met to look into repealing the 1967 law, which allowed Disney to establish its own government through the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Through this arrangement, Disney, in effect, is allowed to function as its own government, providing fire protection, emergency, utility, and planning services for the properties that surround Disney World.

The bottom line is if business execs don’t get their act together soon, it will mark the beginning of the end for the Happiest Place on Earth.

China Cancels Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves had his breakthrough role in 1989, when he starred in the sci-fi comedy “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Two movie sequels and two television series based on the film soon sprang forth.

The more serious side of the actor’s artistry emerged in dramas that included “My Own Private Idaho” and in action films such as “Point Break” and “Speed.”

Keanu, however, was destined for super stardom. He achieved this high watermark when he landed the role of Neo in a film that would ultimately become the “Matrix” franchise series.

In a realm that few celebrities experience, he was able to continue to sustain his fame with yet another cinematic franchise, the “John Wick” film series.

In terms of his ancestry, Keanu is the personification of diversity. His father is Native Hawaiian, Chinese, English, Irish, and Portuguese. His grandmother on his father’s side is Chinese Hawaiian, a woman who imbued a young Keanu with Chinese culture and philosophy. His mother is from Beirut, Lebanon, the place where the actor was actually born. His father left when Keanu was only three years of age, but a reunion with his dad occurred when he was thirteen. It took place on the island of Kauai.

Despite his Chinese heritage, his years of collaboration with Chinese film entities, and his mega-star status with the Chinese population, Keanu was recently severely censored by Chinese authorities for his participation in a benefit concert for Tibet House, a non-profit organization affiliated with the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Previous entertainment figures that were canceled by communist officials for their expressions of support for Tibet include Richard Gere, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Brad Pitt, who was canceled and then brought back.

In a predictable development, China’s streaming platforms have now erased almost all of Keanu’s works from their catalogues as well as from search results in the Chinese language that appear under his name. His most well known movies that have been wiped away include “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Speed,” and “The Matrix” films.

Bizarrely, “Toy Story 4,” for which Keanu voiced a character, has been left online. However, the actor’s name has been purged from the credits.

Keanu’s newfound redacted status in China at a time of heightened geopolitical tension is a strong indication that Beijing censors will prohibit his upcoming projects from being distributed.

Unlike a host of other creative artists in Hollywood, Keanu appears to be the complete opposite of a self-centered celeb. Known to be a dedicated team player as well as an individual who actually safeguards his privacy, Time magazine once characterized him as “Hollywood’s ultimate introvert.”

A special part of his appeal is a humility that he exudes when the cameras aren’t rolling. He has demonstrated a genuine goodness in many a real life circumstance. The internet is replete with stories, interviews, and pictures of Keanu in virtuous action.

The first of his good deeds to go viral occurred when video footage emerged of him offering his New York subway seat to a fellow passenger who was carrying a heavy bag.

Another incident that spread like wildfire on social media was one involving a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Bakersfield, California. Keanu spent time reading to fellow passengers, dining with them on fast food, and entertaining them with his country music performances. He generously posed for photos with his traveling companions, took the lead in helping them deal with the stress of an emergency landing, and assisted others in getting to their destination.

Additionally, in an unusual sort of re-negotiation of a contract for the “Matrix” sequels, Keanu took a pay cut so that more money might be available for use on special effects and costumes.

After his sister Kim was diagnosed with leukemia, he reportedly gave 70 percent of his $35 million compensation for the first “Matrix” film to leukemia research.

Every stunt man in “John Wick 3” received a Harley-Davidson motorcycle courtesy of Keanu, following a difficult stunt-oriented filming session.

He told Esquire, “That fight was 17 shooting days. We trained every day for seven hours for three weeks going through all the motions. We learned the term ‘super-perfect.’ You want to go for super-perfect. So, obviously I was getting paid well. And so, you know, just as a thank you to those guys. Got them some gifts.”

After hearing that Al Pacino was not going to be a part of “The Devil’s Advocate” due to a shortfall in the movie’s budget, he took a pay cut to bring the legendary Pacino back in.

More than a billion kids around the globe have benefited from a leading children’s charity that Keanu set up.

Consistent with his low-key persona, he generally keeps his religious convictions under the vest. On one occasion, when an interviewer asked permission to inquire about his religious beliefs, he politely replied, “Please don’t. I think it’s personal and private.”

In a separate interview, when asked whether he was a spiritual person, he revealed that he is indeed very spiritual and a believer in the Almighty.

“Do I believe in God, faith, inner faith, the self, passion, and things? Yes, of course! I’m very spiritual … Supremely spiritual … Bountifully spiritual … Supremely bountiful,” he said.

When it comes to Keanu, in art and in life China’s loss is the rest of the world’s gain.