Walt Disney Television’s chairman of entertainment Dana Walden admitted this month that ABC passed on several “well-written scripts” because they lacked “diversity.”
Walden even bragged about passing on a script because it centered around a white family, only adding racial diversity through neighbors and other supporting characters.
“I will tell you for the first time we received some incredibly well-written scripts that did not satisfy our standards in terms of inclusion, and we passed on them,” Walden told Women in Focus panel moderator Janice Min.
Walden recalled her reaction to a script that centered around a white family. “Pass,” she said. “That’s not going to get on the air anymore because that’s not what our audience wants. That’s not a reflection of our audience, and I feel good about the direction we’re moving.”
As The Hollywood Reporter reported, ABC last year set new so-called “inclusion standards” to ensure “diversity.”
“The guidelines called for at least a 50 percent increase in recurring characters played by actors from underrepresented groups,” Mediaite noted.
“These new guidelines are intended to make our content and our sets as inclusive as possible, and will serve as a further catalyst for real and sustained change,” read a memo from Simran Sethi, exec vp of development and content strategy. “We want to take this moment to evaluate systems and habits in an effort to remove barriers to access and opportunity. It’s important for us to look around the room, see who’s not there, and then take the steps to not only bring them in, but also set them up for success.”
During the Women in Focus panel discussion, Walden also boasted of a forthcoming so-called “BIPOC” programming initiative at Hulu. BIPOC stands for “black, Indigenous and people of color.”
“It is programming that is by BIPOC storytellers, for BIPOC audiences, curated by executives of color, high-level leaders inside of our organization,” she outlined.
Earlier this year, Gina Carano was fired by Disney from her standout role in Star Wars spinoff “The Mandalorian,” apparently over her conservative views.
Disney contends they let Carano go over an Instagram post they found to be “anti-Semitic.” The post depicted a Jewish woman running from Nazi guards and included a caption warning against political intolerance. Reports, however, suggest Disney was planning to cut Carano for months over her open right-wing views.
Soon after Disney’s move, Carano said she refused to be canceled and teamed up with The Daily Wire to produce and star in an upcoming film.
Daily Wire co-founder and Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro slammed Disney for their intolerance in relation to Carano.
“Social movements have consequences, and we are now in the middle of a mass social movement to expel half of the American population from the body politic,” he said.
“It is not about an honest attempt to cleanse the culture. It is not about an honest attempt to have discussion or conversation,” Shapiro continued. “It is about, can we wrong-foot you so that we have an excuse to say that your entire career has been completely and utterly garbage and that you are a bad person, and so we feel good about excising you from the body politic. That’s all that is happening right now in the culture, and that is a big deal.”
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