Disney Headlines for July 11th, 2021
This week, Disney unveiled Broadway plans, a new fireworks message, an insurance fight, and some Disney zombies.
Plus, we’ve got a spelling bee, some comeback monsters, and the one non-magical girl in an enchanted town.
We’re entertainment-heavy in this week’s Disney Headlines!
The New Fireworks Message
Before the dawn of social media, people played something called the Pronoun Game.
At the time, some folks felt the need to hide their sexual orientations by using general pronouns about their partners and themselves.
Thankfully, society has advanced since then, as the overwhelming majority of folks couldn’t care less who someone is dating.
As such, it’s become acceptable behavior to post one’s pronouns so that folks know the most comfortable way to address you.
The Walt Disney Company has done well about this subject behind the scenes with its cast members. It’s universally renowned for its inclusivity.
However, some of its practices needed some updating, especially now that one of Disney’s Keys is Inclusion.
Previously, Disney shows included the following language: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls….”
Yeah, that’s not great for non-binary people or those with gender fluidity.
So, from now on, fireworks presentations and other shows include more modern phrasing.
The updated language is, “Good evening, dreamers of all ages.” That’s practically perfect in every way, isn’t it?
Hilariously, this modest change, the dropping of Ladies and Gentleman, has triggered some outrage in certain circles.
I’m of the opinion that the only people who should feel annoyed are Saliva fans.
Still, if you’ve heard about a pronoun kerfuffle at Disney, that’s the modest script change that has caused a minor uproar.
The Latest Disney Lawsuit
Someone sues Disney basically every day. That’s not even hyperbole. I’ve never done the math, but it might even be several times daily.
Companies with deep pockets and glowing reputations like Disney are rare. Ergo, people sue, figuring Disney might settle to protect the brand.
However, some lawsuits prove a bit more serious. This week, Fireman’s Fund Insurance entered Los Angeles Superior Court and picked a fight with Disney.
Frankly, you won’t believe the subject matter. Apparently, the insurance company feels that Disney acted a bit too generously during the pandemic.
Yes, I’m serious. Disney used this company for its portfolio policy, a fancy way of saying that Fireman’s Fund Insurance covers Disney films and TV shows.
Obviously, the pandemic caused an unprecedented number of payouts in the insurance industry.
Fireman’s Fund Insurance paid Disney for its first wave of COVID-19 business interruption claims.
The sticking point stems from another $10 million for the second wave.
While Disney suspended operations due to the continued societal shutdown, it expected Fireman’s Fund Insurance to foot the bill.
In other words, Disney paid its employees rather than hung them out to dry. In doing so, it utilized expected insurance coverage money.
Now, Fireman’s Fund Insurance doesn’t want to pay. This organization feels that Disney has overreached with its claims. So, it wants some money back.
From a legal perspective, the most fascinating argument stems from Holiday Hiatus Claims, the ones from last December.
Several metropolitan cities requested that Disney keep productions closed, but the company wasn’t legally obligated to do so.
Ergo, Fireman’s Fund Insurance thinks it shouldn’t have to pay for that, either.
The moral of the story is that if you don’t trust your insurer, always expect to get screwed over when it counts.
The Feel-Good Disney Story of the Week
Have you ever watched Akeelah and the Bee? The story entails an 11-year-old girl from Crenshaw’s attempt to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Keke Palmer starred in the film alongside Lawrence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. Palmer became an awards season darling for her performance.
Akeelah and the Bee won several awards that year and earned a spot on the prestigious National Board of Review Top 10 for 2006.
I’m mentioning the film because life imitated art yesterday. A girl named Zaila Avant-garde won the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee.
In the process, she became the first African-American winner, earning her praise from luminaries like Oprah Winfrey:
Brava, brava @Basketballasart! You make us all P-R-O-U-D! 👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/R9J0fIufuV
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) July 9, 2021
Remarkably, this wasn’t even Zaila’s first claim to greatness. She already held Guinness Book of World Records entries for:
- She had the most balls juggled in one minute with four basketball
- She also performed the most dribbles in 30 seconds with four basketballs
- And she somehow managed the most basketballs dribbled by one person simultaneously (6!)
Realistically, she’s done more at the age of 14 than most of us will accomplish in our entire lives.
Why is this a Disney story? You may recall that Disney recently secured hosting rights for this year’s event!
That’s right! Zaila Avant-garde lived out a real-life Disney movie at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World!
Don’t be surprised if this becomes another movie one day soon!
Disney Entertainment Updates
By now, you’ve probably heard that Disney will return to Broadway soon.
The target date for the reopening of The Lion King and Aladdin occurs in September. The former will return on September 14th, with the latter on September 28th.
Aladdin will play at the New Amsterdam Theater, which will remain unused until then. Well, that’s what we thought.
However, Disney just revealed that it will participate in a series of four charity shows this month!
Yes, you can watch Disney on Broadway in July! Late this month, beloved Disney alumni will perform songs from those two shows, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and others!
Disney hasn’t confirmed whether it’ll require masks for these shows, as New York City remains in flux. Still, if you’re visiting New York City this month, it’s shockingly great news!
Elsewhere in the Disney media empire, Monsters at Work debuted on Disney+.
I quite liked the pilot, which functions as a direct sequel to the film. Poor Tyler Tuskmon breaks Sulley’s scare records, only to discover the new business model.
So, the terrifying monster must adapt to the new process of tickling funny bones.
I think it’s a funny premise, but I also had to laugh at how some of the voices have changed over the years.
Many of the same voice actors have returned. Somehow, they sound different, though.
Finally, Disney unveiled two jaw-dropping trailers this week. Here’s Encanto, about the only non-magical girl in an enchanted town:
And here’s what If…?, which features Marvel Zombies!
They’re both going to be huuuuuuuuuge!