I saw a post on Pinterest today that finally got me to write a letter to the Disney Channel about some of their godawful recent programming. This is the comic that spurred it:
Dear Folks at Disney,
My family has the Disney Channel on for at least 3 hours a day, since it’s a decent, safe channel for our 7 year old daughter to watch. In addition to the Disney Channel, we support Disney through occasional trips to theme parks, buying licensed merchandise, etc. My husband and I have been groaning over some of the really terrible sitcoms you have had on recently, and then today I saw this pin on Pinterest that brought it all home for me. Perhaps you’ve see it?
(Link to the pin)
If not, I’m sure it’s valuable marketing information for you. The fact is, “Austin & Ally,” “Jesse” and “Dog With a Blog” are some of the worst shows on all of television, and that’s saying something really significant. Not only are the plots stiff and the acting wooden, but I have been really disturbed by some of the racial stereotypes I’ve seen on “Jesse” in particular. I like seeing a diverse group of kids on the show, but the plot lines and characterization play directly in to the stereotype that little black girls are sassy, that boys from India are smart and socially persecuted, and white girls are elitist and shallow.
As one of the most successful companies on the planet, I am frequently astonished by how the Disney Channel manages to appear so obtuse in airing such low-grade, borderline offensive material. It has gotten to the point where my husband and I just turn the channel when any of the three shows mentioned above comes on. Since we are around the living room and try to monitor what our daughter watches, these shows need to be something that adults can handle too. And even if “Jesse” was more clever, I would still not put it on our approved viewing list because of the aforementioned stereotyping. It’s not acceptable.
You’ve got some amazingly great productions on the Disney Channel and have had in the past. We love “Kim Possible,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “Sunny With a Chance,” “Good Luck, Charlie,” and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” just to give you a few examples. They’ve got good writing, and good voice and live actors. Please bring forward more productions like these–shows that are clever, fun and funny, and good for kids. I’m begging you, please get rid of those other three. They’re just awful.
What do you guys think? What are the odds I’ll get a response?