Disney Accused of “Gaslighting” Americans, Threatening Democracy

Image showing the 20th Century Studios logo on the left side, with text "A division of The Walt Disney Company" beneath it. On the right, two people are engaged in a conversation on a TV set with another person standing in the background. This snapshot reflects Disney's ownership as a prominent media presence.
Edited by Disney Dining

Considering its significant ownership of news channels and media properties, some are accusing The Walt Disney Company of threatening democracy and “gaslighting” Americans.

One of the most notable characteristics of the media landscape in recent times is its polarization. Particularly in recent years, it’s become increasingly evident in the discourse between individuals on “opposite” ends of the spectrum or even people who support different political parties.

However, despite this, few Americans feel like most media companies all have the same general message, and they are holding the big corporations who own the majority of these channels responsible.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company / Credit: Disney

Columnist Lisa Murtha wrote an article a few years ago on her Substack in which she broke down the ways in which most media channels (including cartoon channels and entertainment properties) are owned by the same few companies, including AT&T, The Walt Disney Company, National Amusements, and others.

Murtha pointed out that even names like the Hearst Corporation or E.W. Scripps, which may not seem as familiar, are still conglomerations that own multiple properties.

Murtha explains in her argument“By owning so many different media outlets (and so many different kinds of media outlets, too), the companies who control our news essentially now have the ability to CREATE our news as well.”

Rhode Island senator Sheldon White took the opportunity to comment on how “Midst all the mischief at the United States Supreme Court, it’s almost gone unnoticed how many of its key decisions are being manipulated with fake facts, outside the established traditions of American judicial fact-finding.” 

And, in response, one person responded:

While the comment is aimed at all of the big corporations that own these properties, one would be remiss not to acknowledge The Walt Disney Company’s role in the situation.

During Disney CEO Bob Iger’s tenure, the company acquired 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm Ltd. It also owns ABC News, National Geographic, the Disney Channel, and more.

In addition, they are currently working with Warner Bros. Discovery to create a new sports streaming service, which essentially is bringing together these giant names. Disney is also working with Epic Games in a landmark collaboration.

Disney, in particular, is also incredibly influential in the world of entertainment, considering its theme parks with the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida and the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

Disney Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: Disney

This amount of influence on how people perceive and interact with the world around them is not negligible. And the fact that Disney owns all of these properties, while incredibly profitable for the company, raises very real questions about the ethics of mega-corporations and acquisitions on this scale.

Stay tuned to Disney Dining for the latest news on all things Disney. 

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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