Republicans’ war on Disney has reached a new level.
Given how appallingly successful the conservative effort to carpet-bomb any political opponent as a child molesting “groomer” has been, it’s easy to forget that this most recent iteration of the Republican Party’s wholesale embrace of QAnon psychosis stems largely from the response to Florida’s bigoted “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, and in particular some (much belated) pushback from the Walt Disney Corporation.
First, a brief history lesson: In his 1982 short story collection Stalking the Nightmare, acclaimed speculative fiction author Harlan Ellison (of Star Trek, and The Outer Limits, and Terminator fame, among other examples) wrote about how he was ignominiously fired from a gig at Disney — on his first day, no less — after a company executive overheard him joking with his fellow writers about making an animated porno flick featuring Mickey, Donald, Pluto, and others proprietary characters (“fuck off, Goofy, fuck off! Get those seven dwarves in here ... ”). Har har har, very funny stuff, please clean out your brand new office, and get the hell out of here.
Now, fast forward to this week, and to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
During a live taping of his The Verdict podcast (yes, he has a podcast. Please pause and imagine the sort of person who’d willingly blast Ted’s voice into their ears on a regular basis), Cruz weighed in on the furor surrounding Florida’s homophobic and transphobic law, raising the specter of a dystopian Disney future in which “every episode now, they’re gonna have Mickey and Pluto going at it.”
“You can always shift to Cinemax if you want that,” Cruz added, having evidently not watched Cinemax — which has largely abandoned its once-iconic slate of softcore “skinimax” adult features — in a decade.
So, okay, let’s talk about what we’re really talking about here: The unhinged conservative panic over the mere fact that queer and transgender people exist has reached a point where simply saying that, yes, they do exist, is on a level of airing animated, anthropomorphized, interspecies porn, for kids. Not to say that the right wing has ever had much of a plot beyond “we don’t like people who aren’t like us” to begin with, but if Cruz’s comments are any indication — boy have they lost the fucking plot here, huh? I mean, Ted is talking about an infamously conservative company that was willing to fire one of the most celebrated and acclaimed genre writers in American history for merely joking amongst friends about the very thing Ted now claims is a potential outcome. Keep in mind as well that this is a man who was more than willing to throw his own staffer under the bus when his official Twitter account got busted for liking a graphic porno tweet — one that featured actual human beings.
Is Ted really in a position to get on a high horse about who is and isn’t engaging with porn, and not the sort of porn he made up to prove a point about something that doesn’t actually exist? To reference a popular Disney film: We’re through the looking glass, folks.