As community partners, many of our discussions and action items revolved around preventing violent extremism. In most cases, if not all, media played a big role in dehumanizing the other.
January 28, 2019
Mr. Robert Iger
Chairman & CEO
The Walt Disney Company
I would like to bring your attention to a program being aired on A&E Networks, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, which seems very hateful, discriminatory, and stereotypes several religions—Leah Remini’s Aftermath reality series. This is apparently the third season. The program has a dangerous impact on several religions and their adherents in our society. Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and other Christian denominations. It’s content has incited hate that led to violence and murder.
I am sure you and the vision of Disney are above this. But sir, the Church of Scientology has had hundreds of threats of death, violence and vandalism because of the show, such as a church in Twin Cities being set on fire, another church having a car driven purposefully through their front window, etc. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses episode was announced, there have been five Kingdom Halls set on fire.
In the past 30 years, I have been on many faith and community advisory boards to law enforcement—Sheriff, DHS, FBI, LAPD, City Attorney, DEA, etc.
As community partners, many of our discussions and action items revolved around preventing violent extremism. In most cases, if not all, media played a big role in dehumanizing the other. Sadly, active shooter training by law enforcement is normal for institutions today.
The great legacy of Disney should not be a part of the research models of what leads to hate, violence and murder.
As a past cochair of the LAPD Muslim Forum, I respectfully request that you look into this matter urgently. I look forward to hearing from you and will pass on your response to the community.
Mahomed Akbar Khan
American Muslim Strategies