Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Disney Discriminating Again with Year of a Million Dreams Campaign?

This is the second is what is expected to be a series of spats against the Walt Disney Company’s Year of a Million Dreams campaign developed for their theme park division.

Lisa and Jim Fouch of DeWitt, Michigan and their two children, Brad and Hannah, were the first ‘randomly’ selected family to spend a night in the Cinderella Castle suite. Notice how nearly identical the Fouch family is to the Spangler family which in October 2006 won the Magic Kingdom theme park all to themselves, much to the displeasure of fellow guests unaware of the event that day. The perfect middle-class suburban white nuclear family: two parents (a man and a woman) and two dotting children (a boy and a girl respectively). Is this conspiracy paranoia? Perhaps, I am in a Kennedy Assassination course but this is more based in common sense. I have no doubts that those selected from here on out for the rest of the Year of a Million Dreams campaign for the Cinderella Castle suite will be from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities but I find it particularly suspicious that the first families selected for these prizes (the Castle suite and the day in the park) were ‘randomly’ selected and both turned out to be, as I said previously, the perfect nuclear family. I’m no math expert but I bet the odds of that happening are astronomical when you consider the variety of individuals who visit Walt Disney World every day of the year.

But here’s the thing that really gets me. In my last post criticizing Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams campaign I jokingly commented how the media conglomerate was discriminating against ugly people. This time however I am not joking. Disney really is discriminating against groups of individuals, namely pregnant women, those with disabilities, heart conditions, and young children under a specific height limit.

According to the promotional rules you can win a night stay in Cinderella’s Castle on a medical and/or height restricted attraction. This “means all you people who are pregnant, have back or neck injuries, can't transfer from your wheelchair” or are not tall enough to board a certain attraction are left out of the loop in terms of winning the big prize(s). Not only does this go against the spirit of winning but it is down-right unlawful in the state of Florida.

Florida law states: “(2) It is unlawful for any operator: (a) To design, engage in, promote, or conduct such a game promotion, in connection with the promotion or sale of consumer products or services, wherein the winner may be predetermined or the game may be manipulated or rigged so as to: … 2. Allocate a winning game or part thereof to a particular period of the game promotion or to a particular geographic area; (b) Arbitrarily to remove, disqualify, disallow, or reject any entry”.

Is Disney violating the law? You be the judge!