Steinhoff

June 6, 2018

Steinhoff—A&E Religious Prejudice Does Not Deserve Your Money

Is hatred and suspicion of our neighbors what we want to “welcome into the hearts and homes of millions of families around the world”? Really?

June 6, 2018

Executive Chairman
Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.

Dear Mr. Wiese,

It’s all about the money, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with that. In fact, I am on your side. That’s why I am writing you about your association with Ms. Remini’s hate-mongering anti-religion show, Aftermath, which has been renewed, expanded and enabled to spread its crusade to bashing other religions besides Scientology in the coming months.

Do you really want your brand associated with this?

A&E’s parent corp, The Walt Disney Company, which seeks to “deliver stories, characters and experiences that are welcomed into the hearts and homes of millions of families around the world,” according to its promotional materials, is touting the same snake oil dished up and shoved down the gullets of a trusting majority for centuries: fan their fears about those whose beliefs and practices don’t quite match up with theirs. Do it by trotting out some scripted Judas Iscariots, who for a few pieces of silver will bray out their sad tales. This may have been a tried and true recipe for a brew that resulted in such concoctions as the Inquisition, the Klan and the Holocaust, but it has no place in this enlightened and inclusive and beautifully diversified time. Does it?

Is hatred and suspicion of our neighbors what we want to “welcome into the hearts and homes of millions of families around the world”? Really?

I’m sure you’re aware that standard practice demands that a morality clause be included in every actor’s contract. It protects the studio and its brand against actions the actor does that bring about negative attention to the brand. In the case of ABC (another company under Disney’s umbrella) the network had every right to pull the plug on Ms. Barr after her egregious tweet.

Are you OK with families harassed and kids bullied?

To date, however, no out and out violence has resulted from Ms. Barr’s action. In Ms. Remini’s case, however, violence toward Scientology churches and bullying of Scientology children have resulted. The perpetrators of the violence, in each case, proudly averred that they were “inspired” by Ms. Remini. Such is the content that Disney and A&E wish to “welcome into the hearts and homes of millions of families,” blah blah blah.

Even though A&E and Disney seem OK with their brand getting trampled and bloodied, are you?

Are you OK with families harassed and kids bullied?

Is it fine with you to pay Ms. Remini and others to “inspire” acts of violence against good people because of their beliefs?

Bottom line: Do you like losing money by positioning your brand with a failing series that went from 2.1 million viewership in its first episode to barely 800,000 (way worse than what happened to the now-canceled Kevin Can Wait once Ms. Remini joined its cast).

People can swallow only so much bile before gagging and saying no thank you. Leah Remini has been choking on her own venom for awhile now. Don’t choke along with her. You really don’t need to.

With the sincere wish
for your continued success,
Martin Landon

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