Disney Celebrity Personally Explains Her Arrest

Abigail Disney
Photo Credits: New York Communities For Change and CNN

Disney heiress Abigail Disney (the great-niece of Walt Disney, the creator of the Walt Disney Company) was recently arrested during a protest focused on the damage that private airplanes wreak on the climate.

Now, the Disney celebrity is sharing her take on the arrest and the protest in an op-ed from The Guardian!

Disney (who relinquished a large portion of her inherited fortune on principle, filmed a documentary revealing Disney Cast Members’ struggles with poverty, and has most recently been very vocal about the ongoing WGA writers’ strike) wrote an article for The Guardian entitled “I Used to Ride Private Planes. Now I’d Rather Get Arrested Protesting Them.”

Abigail Disney and her fellow climate activists blocked access to private planes in East Hampton, which led to Disney’s arrest.

“Last Friday, I was arrested along with a group of climate activists for blocking the entrance to the East Hampton airport in New York and stopping private jet arrivals and departures. Many people have asked me why,” Disney began in her article.

“I Am Terrified”

“The truth is I am terrified of the future of our climate, and I believe that non-violent civil disobedience is the best way to create transformative change. I have covered disruptive protest and social issues in my films, and supported movements through philanthropy. So, at 63, I decided it was time for me to stand in protest with other activists, to put my body on the line,” the heiress explained.

Abigail Disney arrested

Credit: Climate Emergency Fund

“It All Seemed So Benign”

Disney wrote about her father’s 737 private plane from her childhood, looking back on the luxury and writing that “it all seemed so benign, and when something makes your life so seamless that you barely notice what you are doing, it can be difficult to acknowledge the problems you are causing, especially when those problems are impersonal and remote.”

Disney changed her tune on a private flight between California and New York.

“I had an epiphany,” Abigail Disney declared in her article. “My comfort and convenience suddenly seemed like ridiculously small issues when held up against the climate freight-train that is barreling down the tracks at us.”

Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney Credit: CNN

“Our planet is wrapped in a blanket of pollution so thick and unforgiving that it is becoming unlivable. While my one flight across the country was not enough to cause this on its own, I was still contributing to a catastrophic collective consequence that everyone else on Earth is already paying for,” Disney continued.

The Culprits Behind Extreme Carbon Emissions

“The life of a wealthy person burns up a lot of carbon,” she added, explaining that billionaires emit enormous amounts of greenhouse gases “through superyachts, frequent travel on private jets and helicopters, and multiple enormous homes.”

Disney was not hostile in her Guardian article, and pointed out that “this is not an accusation.”

“My father was a good and decent man, and so are most of the people who own private planes,” she explained. “But we are facing an active emergency, and decency is worthless when unaccompanied by meaningful action, including a vigorous inquiry into the consequences of our personal choices and preferences. And niceness is a hollow virtue if we do not lift a finger to keep our children and grandchildren safe.”

Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney Credit: Sportsfile, Flickr

Disney ended her article with a crucial point: “most of the focus on behavior change in the face of climate change centers around the small changes working-class Americans should make, from giving up plastic straws to paying exorbitant gas taxes, to recycling and composting.”

However, “if just a handful of very wealthy people were to change just a handful of their behaviors, they could make more of a difference in one trip than millions of working-class people can in their lifetimes. Just a four-hour flight on a private jet will burn as much carbon as the average person does in a year.”

Abigail Disney is a well-known public figure in the Disney Fanatic community, and her arrest (not to mention her potential as the future leader of the Walt Disney Company) has certainly caused a stir among Walt Disney Company stockholders and Disney enthusiasts.

Doing “No Harm”

The Disney heiress, activist, and filmmaker emphasized in her article that her “first principle is to do no harm” and that (even though she herself “will continue to try to make up for the willful ignorance” from her past), more significant action is needed from the wealthy as a whole.

Disney finished with this message to rich citizens: “a tiny sliver of the population could decide right now to make a difference by making a series of relatively small sacrifices. (Have you checked out first class lately? It’s pretty posh!) If it means averting catastrophe and making the thriving of your children and grandchildren possible, isn’t that the least you can do?”

Are you already familiar with Abigail Disney? Do you agree with her recommended approaches to helping our planet?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.