James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Posts Tagged ‘Disney layoffs’

Thanks to Cruella economy, Grumpy’s attitude finally justified

Posted by James McPherson on April 10, 2009

Following a headline that I wish I’d written–“Fewer Disney employees whistle while they work”–CNN reports that “the sappiest place on Earth” is laying people off. Even a company that withstood boycotts from Catholics,  Southern Baptists, the perhaps-bi-curious American Family Association, and other religious groups couldn’t avoid the effects of an economy seemingly designed by Cruella de Vil.

If a Prince Charming comes along and kisses awake the slumbering economy, some of the 1,100 people who were laid off (another 800 open jobs also were eliminated) may get their jobs back. And Disney seems to be treating the released employees fairly, as apparently they will “receive pay for 60 days; extended medical coverage; and severance packages that vary according to their years of service.”

It’s no golden parachute and won’t prompt widespread singing of “Hakuna Matata,” but at least the employees can afford the “bare necessities” a bit longer and probably won’t feel they have to kidnap Mickey Mouse (though Euro Disney’s Snow White better keep a close eye on the French Dwarfs, if the Disney layoffs go abroad).

And we can hope that the company’s problems permanently derail any plan to revive “Disney’s America.” Americans are stupid enough about their history, and about America’s relationships with others, without bringing Dopey, Dumbo and Goofy into it.

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