Jonathan VanBoskerck, a Disney fan who lives in North Las Vegas, Nevada, recently slammed Disney World and the Walt Disney Co. in a column, saying the “wokeness” of the company has made the theme park less enjoyable.
Social media did not take well to the column.
In his piece for The Orlando Sentinel, VanBoskerck specifically called out Disney’s decision to change its dress code to allow cast members to express themselves with their own hairstyles, tattoos and other forms of expression.
“The problem is, I’m not traveling across the country and paying thousands of dollars to watch someone I do not know express themselves. I am there for the immersion and the fantasy, not the reality of a stranger’s self-expression. I do not begrudge these people their individuality and I wish them well in their personal lives, but I do not get to express my individuality at my place of business.”
VanBoskerck also criticized Disney’s decision to change Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise to be more inclusive. Disney said it plans to change the themes of both rides because the original vision isn’t culturally appropriate. He said the Pirates of the Caribbean ride reminds him of modern politics, too, which makes the ride harder to enjoy.
“The parks are less fun because immersion and thus the joy is taking a back seat to politics.”
And he made one more call to Disney.
“Disney, please return to the values and vision of Walt. The customer experience should be the core of your business model. Immersion should not be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and appeasing the Twitter mob.”
Social media — that so-called Twitter mob — took issue with the column, tweeting it out with their own critiques of the piece.
The "wokeness", specifically, is seeing cast members tattoos & removing a character named "Trader Sam" from Jungle Cruise. A grown man sees these things (or doesn't see them) & gets all worked up & the experience is "ruined" for him. Somehow he doesn't see this as HIS problem. https://t.co/FFhYCpHiDO— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 23, 2021
He’s mad that cast members have tattoos and inclusive hairstyles. No, I’m not kidding. https://t.co/Ac6sKbynL3— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) April 23, 2021
Reading this headline with the accompanying picture will instantly boost any mood. https://t.co/kFbb3Gn52r— Keith Edwards (@keithedwards) April 23, 2021