One prolific blogger details her experience with Disney PR and social media when addressing the issue of diversity and religious acceptance.
Disney has an interesting backstory with Mom Bloggers who don’t identify as white or Christian. In early 2009 a Disneyland trip was organized and Mom Bloggers inand around Los Angeles were invited to bring their children for a media day at the park. The only problem was that it was scheduled during the first day of Passover. The day between two seders.
When I explained that this would exclude all Jewish Mom Bloggers I was asked, “Did you check your email? Did you see that the head of our PR department has a Jewish last name?” A message was delivered that day. I was never the biggest fan of Disneyland but I do have kids and they like to go. I would never again go to Disneyland without a bad taste in my mouth.
Shortly thereafter (2009) Disney entered the social media space with a panel of Mom Bloggers who were to serve as ambassadors for their theme parks. I still remember the internet reacting to an all white panel of women. It was stunning in it’s lack of diversity.
Editor’s Note: To read more about the complaints about the lack of Asian diversity amongst Disney Mom Bloggers read this. There’s also this from a Latino blogger. And a ton of other similarly concerning stories, but that’s what Google is for.
So it didn’t surprise me when I heard that Disney had scheduled Disney Social Media Moms on the Road for Rosh Hashana in Toronto. Toronto is a city that is 4% Jewish. Surely everyone who resides in Toronto has met an actual Jew before. Again, this is Disney- one of the largest corporations in the world. There must be one humanbeing there who is capable of checking a calendar for holidays other than their own?
In case you are unaware Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are the two holiest days of the year for Jews. It is unthinkable that a Jewish parent would work or a Jewish child would be in school one of those days. Many Jews go to temple on these holy days and some do not– just as many Christians go to Church on Christmas and many do not. What they do not do is network as freelancers.
Disney’s responses have continually been baffling. I ask myself how they could let this happen and now I see.