Charges that Disney — known for producing kid-friendly films, TV shows and theme parks — has diminished God's importance in its products are nothing new, but the company is facing a fresh round of criticism from a pastor who recently noticed something missing from one of its billboards.
Pastor Eddie DelValle
Pastor Eddie DelValle of With Love Ministries told One News Now that he was surprised to see the word "Christmas" removed from Disney billboards in Orlando, Florida, especially considering that the messages advertise Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, one of the company's popular holiday-themed attractions.
DelValle told TheBlaze Friday that he made the observation while driving in the car with his wife recently. At first he thought his eyes were deceiving him, but DelValle passed by again and confirmed that the billboard read, "Mickey's Very Merry Party."
"I just couldn't believe it," he said.
While attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party has been a tradition for the DelValle family for the past eight years, the preacher said they won't be partaking this year. In fact, he removed everything Disney-themed from his house, expressing his overarching distaste.
"I think this is a literal element of Disney to just eliminate the word Christmas," DelValle charged.
He also said that a Disney guest services staffer told him that the marketing decision was intentionally made so "they wouldn't offend people."
A representative for Disney, though, told TheBlaze, that the real reason the billboard and some online advertising materials were shortened to remove Christmas had everything to do with "readability."
"Our event is still named Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and the majority of our marketing materials reflect that," Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius said in a statement. "For billboards and a few smaller online ads, we shortened the event name in the interest of space and readability."
But DelValle isn't convinced that's the case.
"I'm not buying that," he said. "That billboard is huge … there's plenty of room to put Christmas there."
A screen shot from Disney's website
After reviewing advertising being distributed on various channels, TheBlaze can confirm that the vast majority of messaging does, to varying degrees, include the word Christmas, including radio and TV ads as well as the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party website.
The latest marketing controversy comes just months after Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the songs for the popular animated film “Frozen,” said that Disney doesn’t welcome God and religious themes into its movies.
Disney responded to that latter controversy as well, claiming that the removal was made in an effort to shorten the show.
(H/T: One News Now)