The Not-So Magic Kingdom

  1. Introduction
  2. Disney's Sweatshops
  3. A theological Approach
  4. How we as Christians can be Catalysts of Change
  5. Personal Reflection
  6. Bibliography

At some point during their childhood, every student at Providence College has owned some sort of Disney Memorabilia. Whether its the giant plastic ears you had to have while riding It's a Small World, or the light up sword you wielded at Disney on Ice, bank accounts have been depleted and toy closets overstuffed for the past 90 years by Walt Disney's creations. Parents are more than happy to shell out their income to a "wholesome" products indulging their children with positive messages and moral themes. It also bridges the gap between adults and their children bringing a familiarity in a product that adults grew up with as well. In all the excitement over Disney products, we do not look deeper and question how and where they were produced. We want to continue to believe in the magical experience as if the Seven Dwarfs sewed and stitched the cloths and toys we have, whistling all the while. This however is very far from the reality. Disney, like many other major retail corporations, outsources production to third world countries where it can find cheap labor that works around the clock. These countries are not subject to the same stringent labor regulations found at home in the US. Therefore, Disney can increase its bottom line without expanding costs.While Disney's practices are in a sense legal, they create a problem from both a moral and theological point of view. In Genesis, we are called to work and told that in laboring we are setting ourselves apart from the rest of God's creation. This right to work also encompasses a sense of free will, in that we should choose the work we do and be fully compensated for that work. Disney, however, is exploiting workers at the sense of their own benefit, forcing long hours at minimal pay. The work is neither free nor are workers rightly compensated. Disney, therefore, is taking away from individuals what it means to be human.