It’s hard to argue on the part of Disney when such an obviously petty and ridiculous act such as this is committed. It might reek of bias on all sides but standing with David James of We Got This Covered and many others that think showing a screening of a privately-owned copy of The Lion King is without any doubt the decent thing to do. The fact that Disney acted in this manner to charge the school a licensing fee of $250 for apparently breaking a rule is beyond petty and worse than that, it means that somewhere in that school is a snitch that for one reason or another felt it necessary to ruin the goodwill that was brought about by the fundraising event by making it known to the corporation that someone was showing this movie to those that were interested in supporting a decent cause. It should be very easy to read the outrage in this since in all fairness $250 is kind of a pitiful amount for a corporation such as Disney to demand from a school that likely could use the money in a much more useful manner. Some might call Disney a bully for daring to do such a thing and they wouldn’t be too far off the mark in this case. It’s very true that rules were broken and that there is a glaring warning on any and all DVD’s that are sold to the public when it comes to ‘public performances’, but this kind action is still incredibly petty given that it’s essentially Disney telling the school to pay up when without someone snitching they wouldn’t known about it and wouldn’t have lost much of anything.
There are definite reasons to put Disney on a pedestal since they’ve given the world a great deal when it comes to entertainment and there are even many instances when the corporation has selected to be viewed as humanitarian in a big way, but acts such as this tend to undermine those kinder moments since it reminds people that as great as Disney can be they can also be a straight up bully in the name of business. And unfortunately, that’s what this comes down to as the corporation is forcing the school to follow the letter of the law instead of saying ‘it’s no big deal’. Think of it, $250 for an act that doesn’t damage Disney’s reputation, doesn’t harm their bottom line in any way, and would have passed by without their knowledge had someone not thought to snitch on the event and possibly put a huge damper on the moment. Thankfully the kids likely don’t fully understand the impact and will be allowed to keep on loving Disney and their many different movies and ideas, but as an adult it’s harder to let this thing go. Lateshia Beachum of The Washington Post has more to add to this matter.
It’s business, there’s no denying it, and businesses want to make money, that’s also hard to deny, but a business as large and as expansive a Disney is one that can’t possibly have an eye on everything that might have something to do with them, meaning that going into someone’s home, or school, or place of business isn’t always the firmest thought on their mind. The very idea that Disney caught wind of this indicates either someone with a guilty conscience that felt the need to tell someone about it, or a snitch that was out to make sure that people were following the rules even if Disney wouldn’t care about it in the first place. Reporting something like is tattling, which unfortunately exists even in the adult world since too many people feel the need to stick their noses out in an attempt to keep everyone on the straight and narrow no matter what the situation is. In this situation however no one was getting hurt in a very literal sense. Disney wasn’t bound to lose millions because of this one screening, and had schools all over the country done the same thing they still wouldn’t felt even the slightest pinch. Know why? Because schools aren’t theaters, they don’t charge ticket prices, they don’t charge massive concession prices, and they sure as hell aren’t beholden to, or answer to the Disney Corporation unless someone turns them in for what amounts to a very petty and unnecessary reason.
To think that the corporation even bothered to look at this and make the decision that they would in fact impose a fine instead of turning a blind eye as they’ve done to other, bigger matters in the past (that were still business-related) is enough to create a feeling that Disney doesn’t care quite as much as they claim to, but will gladly say they do as long as they’re getting their money. It’s a hard statement to make since people want to think that the corporation is in the habit of caring about the people that are essentially keeping the lights on, but instances such as this make it clear that it’s all business. Taylor Telford of The Washington Post has an opinion that might prove interesting on this subject.
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