The Walt Disney Corporation is hitting back at the media for reporting on internal training documents that allegedly reveal the company has gone “woke.” The documents from the “Reimagine Tomorrow” anti-racism program focus on diversity, America’s alleged founding on “systemic racism,” as well as “advantage” and “bias.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the materials encourage Disney employees to educate themselves on systemic racism:
- Reflect on the diversity of your personal and professional networks and how racial and other dimensions of your identity give (or do not give) you access and advantage. Proximity to Black people or being part of a marginalized group does not mean you cannot harbor bias.
- Acknowledge your emotional reactions in this process, the source(s) of discomfort, and productive ways to address it. Examine and work through feelings of guilt, shame and defensiveness to understand what is beneath them and what needs to be healed.
- Recognize your colleagues are also processing the ways in which the pandemic is disproportionately affecting the Black community.
White employees are also given specific instructions on communicating with “Black colleagues” and the “Black experience,” as The Daily Wire noted:
- Do not question or debate Black colleagues’ lived experience. For example, “are you sure they meant it that way?” “It’s not a race thing,” or “I’m playing devil’s advocate…” Instead, reserve judgement and offer statements of validation if someone shares their experience.
- Acknowledge and listen with empathy when Black colleagues share their lived experiences. Avoid saying, “I feel you,” “I have been there,” and instead say “I hear you,” “Tell me more about what that felt like.”
- Avoid conflating the Black experience with other communities of color. While other people of color are subject to racism, there is a unique history that has led to anti-Black racism and the ways in which that shows up.
The journalist who first reported the internal documents, Christopher Rufo, shared a copy of the Walt Disney Corporation’s statement on the issue. The company says the media is “deliberately” distorting the company’s policy on “race and discrimination.”
These internal documents are being deliberately distorted as reflective of company policy, when in fact their purpose was to allow diversity of thought and discussion on the incredibly complex and challenging issues of race and discrimination that we as a society and companies nationwide are facing.
The Disney brand has a long history of inclusivity, with stories that reflect acceptance and tolerance and celebrate people’s differences, as we have consistently demonstrated in such popular films as Moana, Coco, Black Panther, Soul and Raya and the Last Dragon, and as a global entertainment company we are committed to continuing to tell stories that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience.
According to Rufo, the claim that his reporting “distorted” Disney’s internal documents, and effectively their anti-racism program, “is false.”
“I published direct quotations, contextual screenshots, and the original source documents in their entirety,” Rufo said on Twitter. “Disney is distorting the truth—and I won’t stand for it.”
The journalist slammed Disney’s executive team, which includes four white men.
“I challenge Disney’s executive team to walk the walk: they should complete the ‘white privilege’ checklist they provided to employees and share the results publicly,” Rufo explained. “Otherwise, they’re fake antiracists, using buzzwords to deflect attention from their moral transgressions.”
I challenge Disney's executive team to walk the walk: they should complete the "white privilege" checklist they provided to employees and share the results publicly.
Otherwise, they're fake antiracists, using buzzwords to deflect attention from their moral transgressions. pic.twitter.com/WTw7VoJtTy
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) May 10, 2021
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