“Woke” Disney Slammed for Being Anti-Smoking?!

A photograph of Cinderella Castle at a Disney park showcases a prominent statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse in the foreground. The word "WOKE?" is overlaid in large, bold letters across the center, subtly hinting at woke Disney criticism.
Edited by Disney Dining

The Walt Disney Company has been slammed for being “woke” more times than one, but this latest complaint has some scratching their heads.

Over the years, and particularly in the recent past, Disney has been criticized by various parties, be that critics and journalists or even billionaire activist investors (we’re looking at you, Nelson Peltz), for supposedly pandering to a woke audience. From accusations that Disney is influencing queer gender identity to pushing a woke agenda, the criticisms run the gamut.

Within the realm of Disney criticism, the company has faced a plethora of feedback concerning various aspects of its operations. From debates surrounding theme park initiatives to discussions on casting directions in films, The Walt Disney Company has been no stranger to differing viewpoints and assessments from fans and critics alike.

The Walt Disney Company

Credit: Disney

Among the myriad of critiques that have emerged, one particularly unusual complaint has garnered attention—the criticism of Disney’s staunch anti-smoking stance. This seemingly odd grievance highlights the intricacies of the broader discourse on woke Disney criticism.

The discussion around this peculiar complaint not only sheds light on the diverse array of perspectives held by Disney’s audience but also underscores the multifaceted nature of the ongoing dialogue surrounding the entertainment giant.

Disney Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: Disney

Recently, a fan took to Reddit to share a humorous post about the Disney+ warnings they noted on the streaming service from The Walt Disney Company.

The fan wrote, “Rewatching MASH for the umpteenth time on Disney+ and I’ve just really noticed the warnings in the upper left corner. It warns of language and tobacco, but not alcohol. It’s a small silling thing but it amuses me :p” 

Disney+ Warnings
byu/WarlockSellim inmash

While addressing this, fellow fans explained what might be behind the perceived oversight on Disney’s part, and the reason supposedly goes back to founder Walt Disney himself.

One explained,

Yeah Disney is SUPER hardcore about smoking (and by extension tobacco) because Walt Disney smoked like a chimney. They have even photoshopped the cigarette out of his fingers in virtually all of the pictures they display of him. I know for new creations they will not allow smoking in any form, for example in the comics Nick Fury’s most iconic thing beyond his eyepatch is a cigar but that had never been sniffed in the MCU since 2008.’

The fan went on to explain, “the tobacco warning makes sense in light of how anti-smoking they are. Language makes sense too because now that the apps are merged you are going into the app with Disney’s name on it and watching stuff that in the past would have never been allowed within 100 feet of the Disney name.” 

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World / Credit: Greg Park, Unsplash

Of course, some fans didn’t take kindly to the explanation—assuming it’s true, and commented—“[F***] Disney and their weak new age woke pandering. They truly do not understand the definition of ‘acting,’” ostensibly in response to Disney disallowing smoking in their shows and movies.

Another fan made their agreement known, writing, “Amen, brother.”

While some of the frustrations that have come alongside this debate are certainly warranted, this particular complaint had us scratching our heads.

What do you think of the woke Disney debate? Do you believe that Disney has lost its direction and become too concerned with unnecessary opinions? Let Disney Dining know in the comments. 

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.


  1. I do believe that there are far too many sensitive people, Disney is a theme park that we have been enjoying for decades, please leave it alone

    • Having the parks and hotel areas non-smoking, and enforced as such would be totally awesome! It’s horrible walking thru a cloud of cigarette smoke and even worse when it’s cigar smoke!


  3. Give me a frickin’ break…all of the parks are non-smoking, and even when they weren’t, the smoking sections were so far out of the way, you would have to purposely choose to walk through them, as I’m sure there were several leftists/Karens, etc. that chose to do that so they could have something to bitch about…after all, what would the libtards do if they didn’t have SOMETHING to bitch/complain about. Disney has lost a 50+ year loyal guest (that would be me) due to this leftist/woke crap over recent years. I know they don’t care and think that they’re making up for it with the “guests” they have been attracting lately, so good luck to them.

  4. It was nice when they had a designated smoking area………………noone had to walk through a “cloud of smoke”” really!

  5. Like So many things in today’s society the over hyper sensitivity of a few to get attention that demand DEI and WOKE
    Agendas is creating the Demise of Society as we once knew it .
    And Disney is riding this train for all its worth.

    • Pamela Mallory-Ricker

      You do realize that smoking has been eliminated from media since the 60s when it was discovered that it caused cancer, don’t you? This is not new and it’s not WOKE.. It’s a matter of health. If you want to smoke, that’s up to you. It’s your life to risk as you please. That does not give you the right to endanger other people’s health, especially children who are the majority of Disney Park visitors.
      Get off your privileged high horse. It isn’t the Woke agenda which is endangering society. It’s the noisy little children like you, with your tantrums because the world isn’t the way you want it, that’s doing that.. You and your ilk are the ones destroying society.

  6. Pamela Mallory-Ricker

    These people are ridiculous. They are accusing Disney of listening to a minority when they are the minority of overly sensitive people trying to push an agenda. Medical science has proven repeatedly that tobacco causes cancer as well as other health problems. What gives them the right to threaten my life and those of my children and grandchildren? These people are ridiculous and just looking for an excuse to take the country back to the 1950s. Grow up!

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