It may be the happiest place on earth, but some Disney World employees are not having a magical day. On Friday, approximately 50 members of the Mouse Army held a protest over the company’s mandate that all employees receive both courses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by October 22. They had until September 18 to get their first poke. As you may remember, on September 9 President “25A” Biden announced that companies with over 100 employees would need to make sure everyone on their payrolls got the jab. And while Disney, which pretty much owns the western world at this point, certainly qualifies, the mandate in question was actually codified in an MOU with the Service Trades Council Union on August 23 of this year. The usual objections ostensibly apply.
The protest, which took place on Lake Buena Vista Boulevard, was organized by 16-year Disney veteran Nick Caturano. Caturano said that people should be allowed to choose to receive the vaccine but that he opposed the idea of forced compliance. He added that he loved his job and did not want to lose it, but said: “I’m also more afraid that if I don’t speak up now, where does it stop?” He has received emails from cast members from across the world who empathize but don’t want to speak up for fear of getting banished to wherever people go when they are turned out by the Disney Death Star. Reactions to Friday’s march were mixed — honks of support were mingled with single-finger salutes.
In a way, Disney is a microcosm of the world at large, which is fitting since in one way or another its tentacles reach into just about everything, from entertainment to news and sports. As one former member of the Disney faithful lamented earlier this year, the parks have relaxed their once-strident standards for cast members, allowing them to wear inclusive clothing and hairstyles and even show their tattoos. I’m not even entirely sure what an “inclusive” hairstyle is. I suppose it is a haircut that reflects whatever one’s gender is at the current nanosecond. Just like the current national regime, free thought is encouraged so long as it follows a prescribed pattern of rebelling against perceived social norms imposed by the patriarchy. You know, the usual.
On the plus side, Disney World recently added Joe Biden to the Hall of Presidents, complete with his aviator sunglasses–but alas, without a mask. It would appear that the audio animatronic recites the oath of office, which he recorded at the White House. Pity. There are so many other sound bites they could have used that would have made the triple-digit price of admission to the Magic Kingdom worth it. Such as this, this, this and this. Or, more appropriately, his COVID-19 mandate speech. In fact, they could play it as part of their new employee orientation.