Woke Disney is Risky Business

New York Stock Exchange Disney CEO Iger, USA - 27 Nov 2017

Entertainment behemoth Walt Disney Company, which as a business startup had a focus on child-oriented product, now has a CEO who has taken an anti-child stance on a significant societal issue.

In a Reuters interview that took place prior to the dedication of Disneyland’s newest land, “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge,” Disney head Bob Iger was asked whether or not the company would continue to use the state of Georgia as a location for the filming of its projects.

The reason the question was posed to Iger is because Georgia recently passed a state law that bans abortion procedures after a fetal heartbeat can be detected (approximately six weeks of gestation). Iger was letting the world know which side Disney is on in the culture war that continues to surround abortion.

The CEO stated that it would be “very difficult” for Disney to continue to engage in its on-location production activities in Georgia if the new law were to take effect.

Georgia is a preferred locale for many of Hollywood’s film and television projects, due to a 20 percent base transferable tax credit. The Peach State brought in $2.7 billion in revenue from such projects in 2018.

“Well, I think if it becomes law, it’ll be very difficult to produce there,” Iger told Reuters. “I rather doubt we will. I think many people who work for us will not want to work there and we’ll have to heed their wishes in that regard.”

Iger continued, “I think it’s also likely to be challenged in the courts and that could delay it. …But if it becomes law, I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

A sizable amount of The Mouse House’s production has been based in Georgia locales, including that of its blockbusters “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

A number of aptly termed “heartbeat bills” have already been passed, and/or are in the process of moving forward in states that include Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio, using legitimate legislative processes that express the will of the people and allow citizens to exercise their right of self-governance in each respective state.

By choosing to weigh in on one of society’s most controversial concerns, Iger may have inflicted harm on his company’s well-honed brand by slighting a significant segment of Disney’s customer base.

The company recently acquired 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets and is planning to launch its new Disney+ streaming service this year, which will reportedly be loaded with family friendly content. Disney also plans to capitalize on its collection of beloved characters from its “Star Wars,” Marvel, and Pixar catalogs.

Interestingly, at the same time Disney’s CEO is talking about pulling out of Georgia, the company he heads is operating a theme park and distributing movies in China, a country that is known for banning parts of the web, depriving people of their liberties, and engaging in human rights abuses.

Disney recently filmed a live-action adaptation of its 1998 animated film “Mulan” in China. Marvel, a Disney subsidiary, has actually been criticized for caving to censors in China by changing a character’s ethnicity from Tibetan to Celtic.

Iger recently discussed with the Saudi crown prince the prospect of having an amusement park in Saudi Arabia, a place where women are forced to endure second class status.

The comments of Iger followed those of Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who not only said that Netflix’s production would be exiting Georgia, but also indicated that the streaming company would support legal efforts to overturn the democratically passed heartbeat law.

Netflix filmed its hit series “Stranger Things” in Georgia as well as the upcoming sci-fi show “Raising Dion.”

Sarandos told Variety, “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law… Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

However, Netflix does not seem particularly concerned with women’s rights, or even human rights for that matter. The company pulled an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,” which criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This was purportedly done so that it would be unable to be viewed by Saudis following a “take down request” from the Saudi Arabian government. Netflix additionally shot “Marco Polo” in Malaysia, a place in which Sharia law is imposed.

Shortly after Disney and Netflix weighed in on Georgia, other Hollywood companies saw fit to jump on the virtue-signaling bandwagon as well, including WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, AMC, CBS, Viacom, and Sony, indicating that each may also withdraw from using Georgia production sites.

The Georgia law also prompted a group of Hollywood celebrities to speak out, which included Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, and Alyssa Milano. Directors J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, and Ron Howard for the moment are filming there but have plans to donate money to the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups opposing Georgia’s duly passed legislation.

Not all left-wingers are united on ways in which to handle the Georgia law, though. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is seeking to avoid a boycott over concerns that the citizens of Georgia could be hurt. And more than 3,300 women have signed a “We Work Here” Change.org petition, initiated by The Women of Film in Georgia, expressing opposition to any boycott of the state.

‘Unplanned’ Is a Must-See for a Nation in Denial

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Hollywood loves to rally around a cause, but only as long as the cause is solidly in line with its accepted left-wing ideology. One cause that definitely isn’t, is the advocating of the right of an unborn baby to live.

“Unplanned,” a daring new movie that pays no attention to Hollywood’s roster of no-go subjects, has been fighting a constant uphill battle as it forges its way toward release day. Along the treacherous road it has had to traverse, it has been blocked from using certain music in its soundtrack, banned by a Christian radio network, and unfairly rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The movie boldly tells the true story of Abby Johnson, one of the youngest individuals in the country to ever have served as a Planned Parenthood clinic director.

After working at an abortion clinic for eight years and winning an “Employee of the Year” award, Abby had the enormously disturbing yet incredibly enlightening experience of having to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. What she witnessed was absolutely horrendous: a tiny baby inside the womb, who was in the struggle of his or her life, having to suffer through the gruesomeness of dismemberment.

Following the experience, Abby summoned up the courage necessary to leave her financially lucrative position and extensive employment stint. She walked away from the nation’s largest abortion provider and set out to launch a ministry that would help other former Planned Parenthood employees to transition out of abortion related work.

The writing and directing team of Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, who also wrote the screenplay for the film “God’s Not Dead,” understood the challenge that the latest movie project faced.

The hostility issue was driven home through the difficulties experienced in a previous pro-life film, “Roe v. Wade,” including an incident in which a significant part of the cast and crew abruptly left the project after learning of the script’s content.

While the casting of “Unplanned” was taking place, potential cast members were alerted by the directors that involvement with the film might mean that future work in the entertainment industry may be in jeopardy as a result of the movie’s content.

The film was shot in secret in Stillwater, Oklahoma. While on the set, the cast and crew used the code name “Redeemed” in order to keep the project under wraps and hold close to the vest the fact that they were making a film with the same title as Johnson’s memoir.

All of those working on the project were instructed not to reveal the movie’s content to the press or in any other manner disclose it on the Internet or on social media.

As the producers sought licensing rights for songs that they felt might assist the mood of certain scenes in the movie, they received the cold shoulder from the music industry. The required licensing was denied for a number of tunes, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party,” One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” and Trevor Rabin’s “The Guardian Suite.”

Additionally, the movie received some unexpected flack from a giant of the Christian world. K-Love is a Christian music radio network, which broadcasts on hundreds of stations in at least 47 states with markets that include New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. K-Love is also the sixth most online streamed station in the world. Essentially, the Christian music giant banned from its airwaves any promotion for “Unplanned.”

Abby was not at all happy with the network, expressing her displeasure in the following tweet: “Ever heard of the Christian radio station K-LOVE? Of course you have. They are huge, in just about every market. And, they are funded by their listeners. Well, here’s some news for you. K-LOVE has decided that they will not run any promos for my movie, Unplanned. So, a Christian radio network won’t advertise for a prolife movie. They have stated that they don’t want to promote anything ‘political.’”

In a wholly unfair and blatantly biased move, the MPAA informed the filmmakers that the organization planned to give the movie the “R” rating rather than a “PG-13” one, unless the visual depictions of abortion were edited out of the film.

It surely is not lost by anyone who pays attention to the movie ratings system that a “PG-13” rating, as opposed to “R” rating, is routinely handed out to films that include in their content profanity, gratuitous violence, and/or sexually explicit material.

Abby wrote an open letter to parents across America to make sure that they understood “Unplanned” is free from profanity or sexual content. In the letter, she describes a scene, which depicts what she saw on the ultrasound screen – images that transformed her life and redirected her path.

“You will see what I saw: a baby on an ultrasound screen in black and white 2D. You will see the abortion instrument, which looks like a big straw in real life and like a dark line on the ultrasound, introduced onto the screen. You will see the baby struggle against it. You will see the baby first slowly, then quickly disappear into the instrument as it does what it is designed to do,” Abby wrote.

A second scene that Abby cited as a reason for the “R” rating is one that she indicated was a re-creation of her experience with the abortion pill.

“I won’t lie to you; that scene shows some blood. In real life I hemorrhaged so badly I thought I was going to die. The movie captures that without being gratuitous or gory,” Abby wrote.

The MPAA has denied that it assigned the rating due to political bias. However, the group’s decision has resulted in a scenario in which a teenage girl can obtain an actual abortion without her parent’s permission, but the same teenage girl is not allowed admission into a theater, minus the supervision of an adult, to view a film that includes a scene that merely depicts the real life procedure.

The March 29 premiere of “Unplanned” is right around the corner.

In honor of all the babies who have had to endure the procedure that Abby witnessed and worse, let’s all go see “Unplanned,” and perhaps we can escort some teens and other youth who are secondary victims in this whole abortion tragedy.

Bono Talks with Pope Francis about Economics, Environmentalism, and the Church Scandal

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It is not easy to obtain a meeting with the Pope, but U2’s front man was somehow able to pull it off.

Pope Francis is the current leader of the Catholic Church. But he is also a head of state, with all of the power, influence, and interconnection with governments across the globe that goes along with being the Bishop of Rome.

At this critical time when Pope Francis is under unprecedented scrutiny, due to unanswered allegations that he knowingly protected a sexually abusive cardinal and additionally had a role in defending a clerical sex offender in Argentina, one might assume that the Pope’s schedule was being highly scrutinized by Vatican officials. Assumptions, though, often lead to mistaken conclusions, which may well be the case in this instance.

Puzzlingly, Paul David Hewson, a.k.a. Bono, lead singer of the rock group U2, was granted a meeting with the pontiff, which reportedly lasted for at least 30 minutes. At the meeting, which took place at the Casa Santa Marta hotel where Pope Francis maintains his residence, the rock singer and the Holy Father are said to have discussed topics ranging from capitalism and the environment to the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Well known as an adherent to the Christian faith, Bono is the son of a Protestant father and Catholic mother. He grew up in Ireland, a place where in the not so distant past Protestants and Catholics took up arms against one another; this was happening at the same time that the rock singer was coming of age.

Bono has actually discussed his belief in Jesus in a number of media interviews over the years. He was, however, highly criticized in Spring of 2018 by Christians of all stripes.

It was during this time period that Bono and his U2 band mates were publicly seeking to bring about the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, an action that would ultimately lead to abortion-on-demand becoming the law of the land in the Emerald Isle.

U2 upset a sizable portion of its fan base as well as millions of pro-life adherents around the world on May 1, 2018, when it tweeted a heart-shaped graphic that read “Repeal the 8th.” The tweet essentially urged Twitter followers and fans to cast a vote for abortion in the Irish referendum. The Catholic Church was firmly opposed to the country’s proposed legalization of the life-ending procedure.

It seemed to many at the time that Bono had set aside his Christian beliefs and abandoned the vulnerable pre-born. On May 25, 2018, after all advocates, including Bono and his band, had completed their roles, the Irish people voted to repeal the constitutional amendment that had previously secured for pre-born babies the fundamental right to life.

This is why, for so many people, the sight of a sunglass-wearing rock star briefing reporters following a papal meeting was so surreal.

After his audience with the Pope, Bono addressed the Vatican press corps. Not mentioning whether his role in promoting the legalization of abortion in Ireland had been discussed, he noted that he had spoken with the pontiff about capitalism as well as about other issues in which the two shared a common interest.

Bono indicated to journalists that he and the Pope had discussed sustainable development, climate change, and the need for an equal distribution of the Earth’s resources.

“We have to re-think the wild beast that is capitalism,” the multimillionaire explained. “Although it is not immoral, it is amoral and it requires our instruction and he [Pope Francis] is very keen on that.”

Bono then revealed that a topic the two had discussed involved one about which the Pope has chosen to remain silent, i.e., the recent revelations regarding a multitude of sexual abuse allegations against the clergy of the Catholic Church.

Regarding the sex abuse scandal, Bono said, “I explained how it looks to some people like the abusers are being more protected than the victims, and you could see the pain in his face,” the U2 lead singer said, adding, “I thought he was sincere.”

In 2018 new allegations surfaced against the Catholic Church, which indicated that major church figures had protected priests who were accused of sexually abusing children, and Pope Francis himself was brought directly into the scandal.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who previously served as the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, accused the current pope of having knowledge of the serious accusations against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was accused of taking sexual advantage of young seminarians.

Archbishop Viganò asserts that Pope Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013, that Cardinal McCarrick was a serial predator.” He further asserts that instead of the Pope holding Cardinal McCarrick accountable, he shielded him and made him a trusted counselor.

Pope Francis has not yet publicly responded to the allegations. In August 2018, when the Pope was asked about the subject by reporters, he replied, “I will say sincerely that I must say this, to you and all of you who are interested: Read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves.”

“When a little time has passed and you have the conclusions, perhaps I will talk,” the Pope added.

The issues discussed by Pope Francis and Bono have worldwide political, economic, and ethical implications.

It is odd, to say the least, that Pope Francis’s communications on such serious matters would have come to the international public square via a publicist in celebrity clothing.