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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Watchdog Demands Shareholder Report on Disney’s Collusion w/ Communist China

'I don’t like this profit during war … when people are out there giving up their lives...'

(National Legal and Policy Center) On Monday, the National Legal and Policy Center presented a “Communist China Audit” proposal at The Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholder meeting, which would require the company to produce a report that addresses its vulnerabilities related to its business and ambitious expansion plans in the communist country.

Disney’s board of directors opposed the proposal, as explained on pages 79-81 of the company’s proxy statement.

NLPC’s response to the board’s opposition statement, and an extensive report that lays out why the existing board should not be re-elected, was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.

Speaking at the meeting as sponsor of the resolution was Paul Chesser, director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project.

A transcript of his two-minute remarks, which you can also listen to here, follows:

The National World War II Museum is hosting an exhibit about how Walt Disney and his company supported the war effort.

For example, the Disney studio lot in Burbank was converted into a military base almost overnight after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Disney studios immediately began work on training videos for topics like “how to spot enemy planes.”

Demonstrating sacrifice, Walt’s now-beloved classics of the early 1940s like Pinocchio and Bambi suffered early box office losses due to the war effort.

Producing the training videos cheaply, Walt said, “I don’t like this profit during war … when people are out there giving up their lives.”

It’s quite a contrast to today’s Walt Disney Company.

As we highlight in Proposal No. 5, Disney has cozied up to the communist regime in China.

According to the U.S. State Department, the dictatorship is guilty of slavery, forced organ harvesting, genocide and many other human rights horrors.

Rather than take the financial hit for principle like Walt did, instead the Company thanked the Uyghur torturers in Xinjiang for letting Mulan be filmed in their province, for example.

Disney also capitulates to the Chinese government’s every censorship demand in order retain access to that market.

And rather than enlist its artists against oppressive forces like Walt did, Disney instead infuses its cartoon features with mature adult themes that American parents don’t want their kids exposed to.

That led to two box-office bombs for its top two animated theatrical releases last year.

It’s also what cost Disney its special tax district around its theme parks in Orlando.

Upon his return at the end of last year, Mr. [Robert] Iger … said about the company’s critical relationship with the state of Florida, “to the extent that I can work to kind of quiet things down, I’m going to do that.”

But instead last week we saw Mr. Iger escalate hostilities against the Sunshine State regarding the district.

That’s why Mr. Iger, and this entire board that presided over last year’s disaster, cannot be trusted and should be opposed on your proxy ballots.

Read NLPC’s shareholder proposal for The Walt Disney Company annual meeting here.

Listen to Paul Chesser’s remarks at the Disney annual meeting in support of the proposal here.

Read NLPC’s response, filed with the SEC, to Disney’s opposition to our shareholder proposal, and our call to vote against the entire renominated board of directors, here.

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