May 30, 2017

An Appeal to Disney’s Sense of Right re A&E Bigotry

At what point will someone at A&E step up and say: “Hey, wait a minute. We are paying a couple of ex-members of a thriving religion to get others to carry their message of hate. Is this the type of channel we want to be?”

30 May 2017

George W. Bodenheimer
Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks
New York, NY 10023

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you in the hope that I can appeal to your sense of right as a fellow human being as well as to your responsibility for the Disney brand.

I want to point out what should be obvious, but which may, in the constant stream of biased media these days, be missed by responsible executives at Disney.

Last year, A&E ran a limited series that was bigoted and offensive in the extreme. It was basically a forum where two anti-Scientologists, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, were paid by A&E to carry messages from haters of the Scientology religion, a religion of which I have been a member for over 40 years.

I am sure I could, tomorrow, find haters of any number of other religions who have their own “stories” to tell that would reflect their bigotry toward Muslims, Jews, and other faiths and could concoct out of it some wildly scintillating material. (Just switch out the word “Scientology” with these others and it might open your eyes to how offensive this practice is.)

At what point will someone at A&E step up and say: “Hey, wait a minute. We are paying a couple of ex-members of a thriving religion to get others to carry their message of hate. Is this the type of channel we want to be?”

Frankly, I don’t think A&E is up to the task of taking such a rational look. They may be too married to their own biased path on this matter. So I ask you to take action and stop this destructive series that is truly a train wreck for the Disney brand. Maybe the A&E brand doesn’t matter, but this is not just on them. It is on Disney as the responsible adult in the room.

I have met Scientologists from all over the world. They share in common many things, but one that strikes me again and again is the desire to help and to make the world a better place. It is no wonder that it is growing at such a rapid rate. Those I have met truly care. In direct contrast to that, this bigoted series mimics the sort of anti-religion propaganda of some truly destructive historical hate campaigns. I don’t think I need to spell it out more for you to bring images to mind that reflected the worst characteristics of Man. I ask that you end this now—and take action against the responsible executives who have allowed such to be carried out under their watch.

I would add that I have personally experienced what can happen when bigots are allowed a voice with wild general allegations. In my case, I was fortunate to have good legal counsel and fair-minded government representatives to work with when a hater in the guise of a “whistle-blower” attempted to undermine an effort I was involved in to help a government agency create cleaner and more sustainable communities. Fortunately, level heads agreed, but only after time and resources had been wasted.

I hope that you can take immediate steps to make a difference in this important matter. I have no doubt that the time will come when the raw hate being propagated in this series will be judged for what it really is. And when that happens, where will you be standing, and what of the Disney brand that has been so carefully built?

Sincerely,
Keith Miller
Los Angeles, Calif.

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