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Disney boycott suspended

Walt Disney World

The American Family Association announced yesterday an end to a nine-year boycott of The Walt Disney Co. that also was supported by several other conservative organizations.

AFA said it sees some positive changes in the entertainment giant and wants “to focus on more current and flagrant issues that address the same concerns AFA initially had with Disney.”

“We feel we have made our point,” AFA President Tim Wildmon said. “Boycotts have been a last resort for us at AFA, and the Disney boycott was started to address issues of concern to us – especially the promotion of the homosexual agenda in the culture and media.”

Wildmon said Disney has become “one of the less egregious perpetrators of the homosexual agenda,” and pointed to recent events “lending hope for a more family-friendly Disney approach to entertainment.”

“We are pleased to see Disney CEO Michael Eisner stepping down in September, a year earlier than planned, and the breakup of Disney and Miramax, which produced most of the movies associated with Disney that Christians found highly offensive,” Wildmon said.

Those included the 1994 homosexual-themed release “Priest,” the teen sex drama “Kids” in 1995 and the 1999 irreverent religious comedy “Dogma.”

The initial boycott of Disney was organized by the Catholic League in protest of “Priest.” The AFA initiated its boycott in 1996, followed by the Southern Baptist Convention, two Jewish groups, a Muslim group and many independent Christian organizations.

Wildmon said, “We hope that the end of the partnership between Disney and Miramax will mean the end of films that were extremely offensive to Christians.”

Disney is co-producing a big budget film based on the Christian classic “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C.S. Lewis, and has hired two Christian marketing companies to reach out to the religious community prior to its release Dec. 9.

“In the past, Disney’s corporate policy has kept them from targeting a religious audience, and their efforts to connect with Christians through ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ is encouraging,” Wildmon said. “Though we are glad to see some positive changes, we will continue to carefully monitor Disney as we have done in the past.”

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