Disney Accused of Ignoring Sexual Misconduct, An “Open Secret”

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The iconic entrance gate, featuring the stylized logo of the Walt Disney Company with a Mickey Mouse silhouette, is set against a clear blue sky.

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company has been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct that stemmed for several years.

The Walt Disney Company has become the single most significant media power in the country today and boasts many popular intellectual properties and studios, including Disney Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and much more. In addition, Disney is home to several theme parks worldwide, including Disneyland Resort in Southern California and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

mickey proposing to minnie in front of cinderella castle at disney world
Credit: Disney

However, there has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the company in the past.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Disney heiress Abigail Disney accused The Walt Disney Company of ignoring the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein, keeping it an “open secret” when the company owned Weinstein’s Miramax studio from 1993 to 2010.

Abigail Disney spoke out in connection with a lengthy profile of Kaja Sokola, who was just 16 in September 2002, when she says Weinstein sexually assaulted her in his New York apartment.

“I mean, it wasn’t even a secret. Everyone knew what Harvey was about, and that was just fine as long as everybody saw it as, ‘Well, this is just how business is done,” Disney said. “Nobody had the moral clarity to step up and say, ‘Well, not here. We don’t do it that way here.’ I think Disney needs to step up.”

Harvey Weinstein
Credit: ABC News

Sokola has one final lawsuit pending that she filed in 2019 in which she accuses The Walt Disney Company of not doing anything to stop Weinstein’s behavior despite allegedly knowing. In the lawsuit, it states:

“During the time Disney owned Miramax, Miramax paid settlements to multiple women who were victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse…Based on Disney’s control of Miramax finances, Disney knew or should have known of these payments, which should have caused additional inquiry and investigation.”

Weinstein, now 70, is serving a 23-year prison sentence after being found guilty by a New York jury in a separate case. He is currently being held in Los Angeles awaiting trial for additional allegations. In total, nearly 90 women accuse Weinstein of harassment or assault.

“When you’ve done a wrong thing, even if it’s only by stepping back and letting something happen, that’s still a wrong thing to do. And you have to take responsibility,” Abigail Disney said on Sokola’s behalf.

What do you think of these allegations against The Walt Disney Company?

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