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When Did Fans Decide Disney Owes Them Anything?

Demanding Disney Fans
Credit: Disney

Recently, Walt Disney Studios has revealed significant progress on the live-action remake of its beloved animated movie, Lilo & Stitch, and nobody is happy.

After outrage by “racists” broke out over Disney’s decision to racially swap Princess Ariel and Tinker Bell for the remakes of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan, those fans who called those critics racist are now crying race-based foul on Disney for its casting choices for the Hawaiian story.

Nani glares at Sydney Elizebeth Agudong


We recently reported that the accusatory term is colorism, saying that the characters are not dark-skinned enough. On top of that, the girl cast to play Nani will not even be a native Hawaiian as she appeared in the animated version, saying that she wanted Nani to look like someone like her.

Ask any outspoken fans, it seems that representation is the most important quality demanded of a new Disney movie. And there is a sense of entitlement that after 100 years, Disney owes its “less represented” fans a spot at the table. At the same time, traditionalists demand Disney reject those demands and keep stories how they were originally told on screen.

david kawena grimaces at kahiau machado

But since when does Disney owe fans anything like that?

The Walt Disney Company is an entertainment company. Its only objective is to tell stories at the highest levels of both quality and profitability. That’s it. Now, can it use market research to twist stories into more appeasing ways for a modern audience, yes. But Disney does not owe you anything. Everything’s already square. You pay, and they entertain.

Twitter has made us believe that popular opinion can actually sway the direction of a company–and that goes for both sides of the supposed culture war in which the Mouse House finds itself–but it doesn’t.

The only way to change the course of a company is to affect its bottom line. Look at what happened to Anheuser-Busch. You don’t like Disney’s decisions for The Little Mermaid? Don’t watch it. You don’t like the way Disney’s making Lilo & Stitch? Don’t watch it.

Also, Disney does not have a monopoly on the movie-making business. Tired of watching for a plus-sized princess? Make that movie yourself. Tired of waiting for a transgendered prince/princess? Make that movie yourself.

trans version of ariel

Photo Credits: @OliLondonTV

Related: OpEd: ‘Little Mermaid’ will be Amazing, But ‘Diversity’ Talk is Ruining It!

Disney will do as it pleases so long as the revenue keeps coming and the stock price stays steady. All we can do is take the stuff they release that we like and use the magic within ourselves to go out and make our unanswered dreams come true.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiment of Disney Fanatic as a whole.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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