Posted by: Jim | September 20, 2006

The Happiest Sweatshop on Earth

I used to work for Disney. I learned a lot about Walt Disney when I worked there, and he was a truly great man.

However, I believe his organization has lost some of its lustre since Walt’s passing. When I worked there, it felt more corporate than all the corporate jobs I’ve had since. There was constantly a feeling of “write or die” among us writers, and we all knew the axe above our necks could fall any moment. Eventually it did.

But Disney’s dedication to profits has been proven. Their lack of corporate responsibility is equally shown in light of a few recent news events.

First, they’ve been accused of labor abuses in China. When being audited by concern groups, they offer to pay workers to help them cover up the truth.

According to the group’s latest findings, workers at the three factories are underpaid and receive an hourly wage of 2.19 yuan to 3.41 yuan, instead of the legal wage requirement of 4.02 yuan to 4.12 yuan per hour. “Some of the workers are forced to work up to 14 hours every day and 30 days a month, and all of them are denied overtime pay,” Yau said.

Second, ABC, which is owned by Disney, recently aired a “documentary” about alleged events that occured during the Clinton Administration, that accused that President of failing to capture Osama Bin Laden for political reasons. The accuracy of this docudrama has been assailed by Clinton himself, as well as many of the shows historical consultants, and even several members of the 9/11 Commission.

The airing of this docudrama was interrupted by President Bush, who wished to address the nation and by re-submitting his tired statements about our war against terrorism. Coincidence? I think not.

I’m not making a big deal of it (like I did with Yahoo!), but Disney won’t be getting my business anymore. They abuse their employees, and lie to the nation, and make cute little cartoons that influence our children.

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it’s off to Dreamworks I go.

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