Holding Forth

Published on July 15th, 2014 | by Richard Black


An Open Letter to the President of Disney i.e. WWWD (What Would Walt Do?)


What would Walt do?

My Dearest Mr. Iger,

My name is Richard Black. You probably know me from my fantastically successful blog “The Unfit Father”.  My notoriety leaves me at something of a disadvantage as I know nothing about you other than what I’ve been able to glean from Wikipedia and the few times slept in my car by your home, which is lovely by the way.

Given my few dozen readers,  Nielson ratings being what they are and the fickle nature of the general public I thought you could use a bit of advice regarding the inflammatory nature of an episode of Sheriff Callie I recently viewed with my daughter.

Please understand that I, and my daughter, thoroughly enjoy the majority of your company’s programming. I generally encourage her to watch about eight or nine hours of television a day. Without some intervention on your part however I may have to cut that down substantially despite the many recommendations from the ADA that suggest small children view at least six hours of television in any given 24 hour period.

My daughter, like most girls her age, is impressionable and I must mention that it’s refreshing to see a strong female lead in a children’s show. I applaud your vision in creating Sheriff Callie and not just because I have a cat fetish.

That said I was remarkably upset to see an episode of the aforementioned show in which Sheriff Callie’s deputy, a woodpecker creatively named “Peck”, observed a number of apples spilling from a proprietor’s cart and said (and I paraphrase):

“It is my duty as Deputy to pick up and gather all of the wayward fruits in this town and put them back on the cart.”

As a former homosexual I take offense to the outdated, albeit hilarious, bit of slang  “fruit” which was last used as a derogatory term to describe male gays somewhere around the late 1960’s. Suffice it to say that a male deputy rounding up “fruits” entails poor judgment on the writers of the show. The fact that the deputy performing the act is a woodpecker, a metaphor for the oppressive “straight” male phallus is, quite simply, offensive.

Fortunately I have a solution for the public relations nightmare that has probably ensued and that is to have Deputy Peck be suspended from work for the duration of the season and sent to a facility for the opportunity to get in touch with his feminine side.  Certainly you could go the “white collar” crime route and send Peck to some sort of touchy feely rehab camp run by hefty female chickens who preach about gender equality amongst all birds. Peck may certainly gain some modicum of value from the experience but what about our children?

The answer, quite simply, is that they will learn that Disney implicitly tolerates inequality amongst and between the sexes; a message I’m certain you would find to be distasteful at the very least.

Without more stringent consequences for Deputy Peck you will be, at the very best, teaching a multitude of children that fruits are simply a vehicle for a slight against the LGBT community.  At worst you will be promoting the belief that any perpetrator of a nasty slur will get a slap on the wrist and a stint in the woods with a bunch of elderly lesbians and recent divorcees.

Now I’m a realist and I know that public opinion doesn’t do much to change things when left by itself. It’s the money that matters. Running a vast multinational empire is tough but at the end of the day it all comes down to money and, in Disney case, subscribers and patrons who will pay for your services.

Close your eyes for a moment and consider the letters WWWD. WWWD? What Would Walt Do? Walt would presumably narc the gays and communists out to the federal government. That being frowned upon in this day and age I would suggest a more…enlightened approach and one that’s a win-win for Disney and society at large.

Please open your eyes now. Read the last paragraph and continue.

Imagine the ratings possibilities on a spin off show if Deputy Peck were sent to Attica for three years or so. Certainly the show wouldn’t do well on Disney Jr. but I can see it doing wonders for the edgier Disney XD network. In addition to teaching our children a valuable lesson about respecting others and scaring the living shit out of them there’s the crossover potential to consider (to mention nothing about a few million toddlers who have just learned to nag their parents, ad nauseam, about the newest in glitter and gun racks or really anything you deem fit to advertise).

I’m spitballing here so bear with me.

The cast from Little Einsteins could perform some service work in the show and maybe teach Goofy how to overcome his illiteracy.  Doc McStuffins could work the prison infirmary and attempt to cope with her schizophrenia as part of a subplot.  Amber from Sofia the First could also do some time. I’m seeing something where she’s wrongly convicted of strangling one of her suitors with an auto erotic asphyxiation fetish but, then again, she might really do the guy in too.

The Hugglemonsters will, obviously, lay in wait in the sewers of the prison to dissuade any break outs re: Shawshank Redemption/C.H.U.D.S. The Hugglemonsters could also be useful in clearing up any loose ends from a plot perspective, jumping out of toilet to abduct a particularly hard case who Peck really couldn’t handle by himself in the showers (I’m thinking someone like Kwazii, the randy sailor from the Octonauts, who decides to give Peck a lesson in prison etiquette in the first season).

The series practically writes itself. I encourage you to take my suggestions to heart and look forward to suing your fine corporation in the event I see them in production without a substantial check or a credit.

Until then I remain affectionately yours,

Richard Black

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