Disney and Diversity: The Disney Corporation Thesis

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Disney and Diversity: The Disney Corporation and Its Role in the 21st Century Global Marketplace

More than one-third of America belongs to a minority group -- including, of course, the nation's President Obama (Christie 2009). One reason for the rapid increase in individuals who label themselves as minorities is the fact that the nation's Hispanic population increased 1.4 million between 2006 to 2007, according to the most recent U.S. census, or 15.1% of the estimated total U.S. population of 301.6 million. The Asian population rose by 2.9% between 2006 and 2007. The American Indian and Alaska Native population rose by 1% or during the same period. Moreover, the median ages of these groups tend to be younger than that of the composite population, making them a particularly attractive marketing target: "the Hispanic population in 2007 had a median age of 27.6, compared with the population as a whole at 36.6. (Bernstein 2008). Almost 34% of the Hispanic population was younger than 18, compared with 25% of the total population.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Thesis on Disney and Diversity: The Disney Corporation and Assignment

The Disney Corporation has tried to create a more diverse face for its company, as manifested in the launch of its Princess product line, which showcased such non-white princesses as Pocahontas, Mulan, and the recent African-American cartoon star of the Princess and the Frog. However, despite the popularity of Hannah Montana/Miley Syrus and the Jonas Brothers, the television and musical incarnations of the Disney brand have not been as diverse in appearance as Disney cartoons. The greater acceptance of diversity in the population, as manifest in the popularity of all of Disney's non-white princesses, suggests that Disney can create a brand with even greater cross-over appeal, provided it increases the diversity of its image in 'real life' movies and television shows. Disney has promoted diversity in the storylines of its cartoon films, especially with non-human actors like the Lion King and the Little Mermaid's calypso-playing crab sidekick. Now it is time to embrace diversity in human form, and in live-action form, so that Disney's future consumers can see an accurate reflection of themselves in all Disney products. The success of its Broadway production of the Lion King, which emphasized the African setting and status of its central characters, supports this idea.

The Lion King's openly African images and sounds also indicate that the new characters developed by Disney must be culturally appropriate, and not simply a generic change in skin tone. For example, in contrast to some sarcastic television programs that pit teens against their family, or show them as smarter than their parents, in Hispanic culture. Said one Hispanic female, of her experience: "Family by far is the most valued part of... [every] Hispanic's life… no matter how busy the parents are, there is always time for the children...No matter what happens in life, one thing most children of Hispanic families grow up with… is the essential knowledge that your parents and all the other adults in the family as well… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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