Thursday, April 12, 2007

Is "Meet The Robinsons" Offensive?

My USA Today piece on the fact that adoption-advocate groups are upset by certain parts of Disney's "Meet The Robinsons" is online now. I'm interested in your reaction to the controversy.

5 comments:

Halle said...

It's hard not to think, 'Oh come on, not another one of these things.' but showing a parent rejecting a child because of something like that is somewhat callous. Haven't seen the picture, tho.

Love the podcast!

BSquared said...

It's an ANIMATED DISNEY MOVIE for pity's sake it's not supposed to be realistic. All Disney stories contain some element of 'extremeness' to get their message across. If this plot is offensive then I guess the same people would complain about Cinderella (two girls treating their step sister like a slave might prompt step children everywhere to start behaving in abominable ways towards their step-siblings).

I don't quite know what annoys me more...the idiots who are offended by this or you for reporting it and giving the idiots unnecessary recognition for their idiocy. I guess you're only doing your job but if no one paid any attention to these kind of people they'd have to grow up and get on with life like the rest of us.

TheStripPodcast.Com said...

Well, it is my job and the folks who are complaining aren't lunatics but very credible people with a lot of experience and expertise in this area. So it seemed fair to air the complaint.

What's always sort of baffled me when these sorts of things pop up is why the fact that some people take offense at something upsets other people. Adopted families do have different perspectives than other people who take certain things for granted. Why don't they deserve to be able to voice that?

I'm not saying whether their complaints are valid or not; in this case I'm properly keeping my opinion to myself. But from a journalistic point of view, I think the story is entirely defensible.

BSquared said...

Other people being offended doesn't upset me. Other people being offended AND having that treated as news annoys me (I wouldn't go so far as to say it upsets me).

Steve, this is genuinely not a "go" at you and I will try to explain why I am annoyed. I find that the media these days is full of people being offended by something. Even if it's only a teeny minority of people that 'offence' is reported and, on many occasions, acted upon by the company or a relevant government authority. What rarely happens though is that equal reporting time is given to the people who aren't offended. For example, I am adopted and I have seen this movie so therefore think I am reasonably qualified to speak on the topic of this particular offence issue. I am not offended by this movie's plot. None of my adopted siblings are offended by the plot of this movie. But our not being offended will not get reported.

What happens when only one side of things gets reported is that it appears as if the people who are offended are speaking for everyone. Certainly in the case of this movie the people who are offended are not speaking for me. However, my siblings and I (and all the rest of the folks who I guarantee aren't offended by this movie) aren't organised into a handy lobby group so we don't have a voice.

So a handful of people complain about a movie or a book or the fact that they don't like the term "Merry Christmas" or whatever else offends them and no one bothers to ask everyone else what THEY think because that's not considered newsworthy and then the thing that offended 0.1% of the population gets changed to suit that tiny minority.

I know you're not responsible for this: it's something that has happened to society over the past 15-20 years and I genuinely wasn't meaning to having a go at your journalistic integrity or skills or anything else so I apologise if you thought I was doing that. All I am saying is that it annoys me when a handful of people can hi-jack a discussion or issue and have it appear as if they speak for the majority.

TheStripPodcast.Com said...

Oh, don't apologize to me. Miles was dubious of the validity of the story, too.

And yeah, I guess I see the point inasmuch as the whole "War Against Christmas" thing bugs the crap out of me because it's just not accurate and has certain anti-Semitic underpinnings. But in this case, I do think the story is there and that it impacts nobody other than the folks who are bothered by it.