Disney sure knows how to tell a fairytale—with its beautiful princesses, wondrous dreams and luxurious, rainbow-clad backdrops. It’s been providing fantasy-fodder for decades, inspiring little kids to dress in satin, don tiaras, ride imaginary white horses and wave tinselly wands. But, in Hollywood, for any story to work, the heroes must have their antagonists—the villains of the piece who try to foil the “nice guy’s” plans and ruin good people’s lives… only to meet their demise, sooner or later, winding up on the trash heap of lamentable, wart-ridden freaks.
Judging by Leah Remini’s “Aftermath” effort, Disney is still churning out its age-old recipe, in this new, TV format: Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook have welcomed a newcomer to their egregious gallery. Remini’s former character of Carrie Heffernan, in The King of Queens TV show, is described in Wikipedia as a “sharp-tongued wife” and “a fierce person, even physically abusive, [who] is frequently deemed as scary by other characters.” Well, judging by Leah Remini’s recent performances on A&E’s (Disney’s) Aftermath series, the Carrie character is a seriously watered-down, bonbon version of the actress who played her. Because this Remini woman really takes the cake!
Just like in any Disney movie, the villain always loses in the end, winding up with egg on his or her face.
Despite admitting that the Scientology religion helped her all her life, Remini publicly left the church in 2013 and promptly staged a publicity stunt, making a false Missing Persons Report to the LAPD about a church member, which the police department determined “unfounded” after only a few hours.
Just like in any Disney movie, the villain always loses in the end, winding up with egg on his or her face. Visibly, this Leah character hasn’t yet understood that: to this day she has insisted on rehashing the same old “bad guy” role, repeating any criticism on Scientology that comes her way, without—by her own admission—even taking the trouble to vet the sources. All for a nice little paycheck and a chance to enjoy the spotlights before her dwindling career dies out completely.
Then there’s the company she keeps—a gaggle of goons if ever there was one (and of which Walt Disney himself would probably have paid a fortune to purchase the rights)!
Take, for example, Mike Rinder, Remini’s sidekick. In an open letter to the former CEO of A&E, Rinder’s own daughter writes the following: “The only statement he made about us [on the show] that is undeniably true is that he was a terrible father. But you then allowed him to escape taking responsibility by blaming my Church… You pay a fraud like my father to lie about our family and to spread bias toward my religion.”
Here is a man who, according to his own child, tried to kill her when she was an infant because she was crying in the middle of the night. Then there was her weeks-long stay in an Intensive Care Unit after being the victim of a hit-and-run at the age of eight; while her mother was nursing her back to health and her grandparents traveled all the way from Australia to visit her, her own father, Mike Rinder, was noticeably AWOL. The same daughter concludes: “I am disgusted at how you allow him to exploit my life, our family and our religion. How can you write checks to Mike Rinder in exchange for hurting and lying about his children and our lives?”
Not every Disney witch has a henchman. But this Remini has one propaganda pitbull “pooch,” in the form of hatemongering blogger, Tony Ortega. This “silent partner” behind Remini’s and Rinder’s reality TV show on A&E, according to Rinder “… has stumbled onto the subject of Scientology as a way of making news and money.” Here is a failed journalist, who is well-known for having wreaked havoc in several media outlets he’s been a part of, maiming their reputations with lies and scandal. Then there was his conscientious work as the “attack dog” for Backpage.com. The founders of the website were arrested in October 2016 for Pimping and Conspiracy to Commit Pimping and the National Association of Attorneys General labeled Backpage.com as the nation’s top website for human trafficking. It’s obvious where your values lie, Ortega…
When all is said and done, will Remini meet the same fate as her fellow Disney villains? Will she decide to topple off a mountain and end up as supper for ravenous vultures, as did Snow White’s evil queen? Or will she offer herself up as tinder for an impressive Fantasia-like firework display, as in the case of Mulan’s Shan Yu? Whatever she does, one thing is for sure: her demise as a TV and big screen personality is prewritten. Any Disney script will tell you that.