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Preventing a Possible Disney Buyout

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Cantus' Ghost, Oct 7, 2002.

  1. Cantus' Ghost

    Cantus' Ghost Active Member

    Disney is evil- pure and simple. I'm not saying this because I don't like the company's product, but because of some disgusting, proven facts about Disney's wheelings and dealings.

    The most obvious issue is the sweatshops. There is far too much information to relay, so please visit these sites to learn more:







    There are literally hundreds of other sites, too.

    The point I'm trying to make is Disney is engaging in unfair, inhumane labor practices in the third world. 'The Gilded Rat' has also expressed an interest in buying the Henson Company. This means that Muppet merchandise could be made in sweatshops while Disney takes home unheard of profits (as they have done for years).

    I need help drafting a petition to the Henson Company that could hopefully end any negogiations with Disney. Any past collaborations with Disney are in the past, so I'm not demonizing the Hensons. But in light of all the documentation, protest, consciousness, etc, I believe it would be in the best interests of the third world (and the Henson Co) to avoid doing business, thus, providing more revenue for one of the world's largest and richest corporations who exploits the poor.

    Please help me out if you agree. We can communicate through email to get this moving as quick as possible. Please don't blow this off. It may not be possible to hold Disney accountable, but , hopefully, we could prevent the Muppets from getting involved in this horrible mess...

    Much obliged, y'all.
    - C-Dogg
  2. Bean Bunny

    Bean Bunny Well-Known Member

    I am not saying what they are doing is good but what about Warner Brothers, Viacom, Universal, Dreamworks, HIT Entermainment, Mattel, Hasbro and so on.
  3. Cantus' Ghost

    Cantus' Ghost Active Member

    I stand corrected. I looked on Yahoo & WB, Universal, & Viacom DO have sweatshops in the third world.

    Disney manufactures a great deal of their products. Most entertainment firms (WB, Henson) license their likenesses to companies who do the manufacturing and production.

    So, any petition should include ALL entertainment firms engaging in unfair, exploitative labor practices.

    Any takers?
  4. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    You wouldn't have any left. Expand it to ones not involved with drugs, crime, and government bribery and you definitely won't have any left !

    Have you ever eaten in McDonalds ? You'd be amazed at what their people have got upto over the years.
  5. Struble

    Struble Well-Known Member

    Does that make me evil by association? :p

  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Say what you will! I'd rather have Disney buy the Muppets than.. SABAN!!! Shudder!! He wrote good music for Inspector Gadget cartoons, but no way will I stand by when he gets his yen grubbing mitts of pure pure evil (100%, Disney is a mere 97%, they may have sweat shops, but their animation department is pretty good!).

    I will not take the Muppets being bought and sold by the "Brains" behind Mighty Morphine Power Rangers, Mighty Morphine Power Rangers in Time, Mighty Morphine Power Rangers inside of a coat, and Mighty Morphine Power Raqngers stock footage show! No way!! Over my Tutti Frutti, Rudy!!! I'll buy them!! Maybe if we all can take up a collection, we ALL can buy them.

    Disney... The lesser of two evils!
  7. kansasteen14

    kansasteen14 Well-Known Member

    Disney isnt evil,but you are.like Luke said just about all entertainment conglomerates do this and I also whether have Disney buy them.
  8. Sweetums74

    Sweetums74 Well-Known Member

    CG- why concentrate on Entertainment companies? why not expand it to all companies that have their items produced in overseas production houses?
    Look at one item that we all use everyday... clothing.
    I'm sure that you've already looked at the labels of all of your clothes and did the research behind where they were manufactured, right? I'm also sure that the clothes that you owned that may have been manufactured in conditions that you personally do not agree with were promptly taken to the nearest trash can and promptly discarded.

    The thing is, right now Disney-bashing is the "in-thing" to do (and I'm not just talking about in this forum) and this is just another example of another way to go about doing it. Ignore all of the other companies across the board and concentrate on Disney.

    If overseas production is something that is important to you, then by all means, do what you can to make a difference. Just don't rely on websites, though. Go out and do your own research. Look at all companies. Don't forget the cost of living in that particular country-- because the cost of living there isn't as expensive as it is in the U.S.

    After doing all of your own research and you still feel strongly about it, then start eliminating those companies' products from your personal daily life.

    Personally, I can't take someone seriously if they are spouting "facts" about Disney's offshore labor practices while they are wearing clothes from the Gap and Nike sneakers. It's a tad bit hypocritical to me. If someone is against offshore labor practices, then they need to be totally against it. Not just concentrating on one company. Reason being- if they succeed with that one company, another company is going to step in and production is going to resume again... in effect nothing changed.

    It is just something to think about and I hope that you do not think that I'm personally attacking you. In all honesty, I don't know where I stand on the issue. I like to hear both sides and play devil's advocate with both. So far in what I've looked into, neither side is really accurate. I've seen many inconsistancies with the "facts" on websites such as the ones you mentioned... and every large company says "We send people to check on conditions and everything is OK".

  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I couldn't agree more! Sweat shops are everywhere. It saves some rich bum about 100 dollars after they spend so much shipping! If they didn't do that the idiot Longshore men wouldn't've done that stupid lockout thing.

    Man, this planet blows!:mad:
  10. towels

    towels Well-Known Member

    Although, it can be even worse if another company doesn't step in and do production there. After Nike and Reebok pulled out of some Indonesian factories they shut down and unemployment skyrocketed. Many of the underage workers have turned to prostitution to try to support their families.
    Most major companies have developed codes of conduct in order to insure safe working conditions, fair wages, etc. I know Nike's can be found on this site and I'm sure Disney has similar info avaliable.
    It's important to educate yourself on any issue before you start trying to rally people to your cause.
  11. JamieDenny

    JamieDenny Well-Known Member

    "Disney bashing is popular right now."
    Would it help if I said I bashed them before it was fashionable???
  12. Cantus' Ghost

    Cantus' Ghost Active Member

    For the record: you're not evil if you like Disney movies. Let's not confuse fans and American employees with the exceedingly wealthy corporate executives who make insensitive decisions that doom the people being used as cheap labor. Why would you be at fault if you had no idea what really went on? The thing is that Disney knows exactly what's going on. They always have known. They've never once denied the validity of their opponents. Nor have any of the organized protestors ever been sued by Disney for slander, libel, defamation, etc. Disney did try to stop student groups from circulating "MISERY" in traditional Disney typeface around college campuses, but all of this was done within copyright laws.

    Disney bashing IS fashionable, and, yes, there are tons of other U.S. corporations who use sweatshop labor, but that does not give the largest American entertainment conglomerate the right to do whatever they please. The whole concept of capitalism is to make as much money as you can. Fine. Go ahead & make as much as you can but there is a growing movement that says you have to take responsibility for your work force and your products, beforehand. Does that really sound crazy?

    If Disney or Universal or Viacom or whoever decides to use foreign cheap labor to make their diddly crap and 'apparel,' they should consider the consequences of doing so. These people in China, Haiti, Bengladesh, Vietnam, etc. are miserable. Sure, the cost of living is less in these countries is less but corporations like Disney do not pay their foreign workers living wages. I would like to see a Disney exec survive on the 17 cents an hour he paid to workers in Bengladesh. Either here or there, not one of them could do it. Neither can their employees around the world. When the workers try to unionize- as was the case with Disney's factory in Bengladesh or Nike in Cambodia- the corporations decide to up and leave. Now, their workers who lived slightly above the poverty line are back where they started. Wow. Doesn't it strike you as odd that Disney, the paragon of everything wholesome could be so contemptuous?

    Yes, many corporations would have you believe that they are vehemently opposed to sweatshop labor. Some companies like Nike have even adopted their own code of ethics, stating so. But in a 2000 investigation by the BBC (click here), it was found that they were abiding by their own code of ethics only after the BBC found out that they weren't. Sweetums argued- and I respect his opinion no matter what- that companies "send people to check on conditions and that everything is okay." Then, why would literally thousands of people ( a great deal of student organizations, in particular) protest Disney if the conditions didn't exist. If companies do send representatives, they either must be blind or heartless. Besides, when did American corporations become so trustworthy?

    Similarly, Disney claims to be involved in an international, non-governmental group who monitors their factories. This Swiss group actually a for-profit group that makes profits in the billions. When Disney investors began to question their foreign labor practices, the VP told them they would NOT look into the matter "because it would be inappropriate to for us to be involved in the social and economic agenda of other countries." Isn't tat an admission of guilt? (read the link to salon.com in the beginning of the thread.)

    Oh, and for the record, Sweetums, I do not own one article of clothing or accessory made by the Gap, Nike, Reebok, etc. It's not because of the sweatshops; it's because its overpriced crap which the company tries to market as the next fad. It's garbage. There are very few clothing manufacturers in the U.S and corporations carefully conceal what goes on in their foreign factories. It is impossible to find out under what conditions every article of clothing I own was made. I just buy what looks cool and what is cheap. I can't understand why Sweetums and towels (who told me to educate myself before rallying for a cause) do not consider the sources cited as reputable. The Nat'l Labor Committee isn't reputable?? Salon.com (which features pieces by professional journalists whose corporate employers chose not to run) isn't reputable?? If you're waiting for CNN or MSNBC to break this story, you're in for a long haul; they have corporate sponsors to answer to and advertising revenue to be made. They will withhold the truth in order to secure that oh so precious revenue. Perhaps, this is why they consider Jennifer Lopez' exploits "newsworthy."

    The reason for starting a petition is because Disney (as well as Viacom, Universal, WB) are interested in buying the Muppets. This is a Muppet forum. Disney is just a start, and, considering the current situation, I assumed this wouldn't fall on deaf ears on this forum. But it has. You guys keep saying "that's how it is," "every company is like that," etc. That doesn't make it right. We're the ones who provide revenue for the Henson Co; why shouldn't we do everything possible to prevent a buyout from multi-billion dollar corporations who feel no shame in treating people like they do?

    So, I will ask yet again if someone will help me out with starting a petition? If you do not agree with it, don't sign it. Just don't be fooled into believing everything the richest people in the world will tell you in order to protect their massive profits.

    C. Ghost
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I still can see where you're coming from Cantus Ghost! But I still think that any company who buys them uses sweat shops! EVERY COMPANY USES SWEEAT SHOPS!!!! They took jobs away from Americans, they enslave the populous to make stuff for sale, yadda yadda, you get the point.

    It won't stop me from picking up Lilo and Stitch or NBX bean bags, however. Besdies, they were already made! It's like my thoughts on Vegetarianism. I agree with them, but the animals are already killed, so the meat will go to waste anyway! Of course, meat helps farmers who can't grow crops, so my POV is changed a little.

    Though I agree fully that corporate greed is evil, I don't think there's much I can do!
  14. Sweetums74

    Sweetums74 Well-Known Member

    You misunderstood my statements completely and obviously took them as a personal attach which I clearly stated that it wasn't.

    I did question if you were doing your own research or if you were just taking what you were reading off your cited websites as fact. Here is why I questioned this- take any controversial subject- any subject that has strong supporters on both sides- look at their websites. Their websites are *only* going to provide information that will support their side of their argument. They may take items out of context. They may not fully expound on a statement that they make. They may take 2 unrelated issues and combine them in a way that will support their side. There isn't anything wrong with going to one of these sites and reading what they have to say... but one should also take the time to follow up and see if what is written is a concrete fact or if it is an opinion or possibly a completely untrue statement.
    Special Interest groups are always going to take information that supports their interest and shove it in your face. They will also take information that does not support their interest and bury it. You are quick to point out that corporations do this, and many probably do. Special Interest groups are just as guilty.

    I was wondering if you were actually doing this type of research yourself or if you were just believing what someone else was telling you. So far all I've heard you say is 'If It's on the Internet, It must be true'. This salon.com story that you are so adamently promoting has 2 major issues with it. The first being that it is from May 1997 which makes it 5+ years old- so this may or may not reflect anything that is currently happening- you don't know. The other is that the author, Bruce Shapiro, makes statement after statement after statement, but no where does he cite his sources of information. So while one could and should look into each and every statement that is made to support Shapiro's overall idea, one doesn't have the opportunity to see if Shapiro actually researched this information himself, if he did do his own research what were the sources that he used, were they reputable sources or were they propaganda? Did he take a tid bit of info and twist it so that it would support his overall idea? It is impossible to tell anything by just reading this.

    "Sweetums argued- and I respect his opinion no matter what- that companies "send people to check on conditions and that everything is okay."

    Actually, if you had read my statement carefully, I never said that this was my opinion. In fact, I said I have no opinion on the matter. I'd like to form one, but I'm yet to find (yes, I am and have been doing my own research because I'm interested in seeing what the big deal is- specifically why with all of the other domestic issues that are in the U.S. that offshore labor is taking precedent over issues in ones own backyard) anything compelling to sway me either way.

    You can read my direct quote in my previous message- if you read between the lines, I was asking "Which side should one believe?" The anti-offshore labor websites all have major inconsistencies in their facts. Large Companies who utilize offshore labor all claim that they do check labor conditions. So which side is telling the truth? Can I trust websites whose "facts" fall apart when you look into them or who aren't current? Can I trust large companies who are in business to make money to satisfy their share holders? Both sides can't be lying. Both sides can't be telling the truth.

    As I understand, you want to start a petition that basically states "Disney should not purchase the Muppets because Disney will utilize 'unethical' offshore labor to produce Muppet products and contribute to the overall poverty of a third world country".

    You are not being vocal about the production of all of the new Muppet merchandise (t-shirts, underwear, shoelaces, keychains, watches, die-cast cars, pez heads, bobble heads, etc.) that are out now.

    Am I safe to assume that you have found that these items are all being produced under conditions that you feel are safe and that all of the workers are being compensated for their labor appropriately?

    In short- if Disney buys the Muppets, the way Muppet merchandise is currently being produced now will change and it will be a change for the worse.

    Like I said, since offshore labor utilization is obviously something you feel very passionately about, get out there and do what you can to make a change. If you are going to target Disney, Aol-Time Warner, or any other company-- do your research first, organize your statements, and be able to back them up with concrete proof.

    You could also go about it another way- figure out which company fits your ideal criteria as the purchaser of the Muppets and then rally support for that company. I bet if you take a more positive spin on your quest and can clearly explain why one company is better than all of the others, you may get a little more support.

    Right now what I'm seeing is that you know where you want to go with your idea- you want the purchaser of the Muppets to have labor standards that meet your ethical and moral standards. You are just in a struggle to figure out the way to get there with your idea.

    It's almost like you lost your sense of direction....
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    A little off topic, but Talk about mood swings. Read my first post, my second post, and my third. THE OPINIONS ARE ALL DIFFERENT!!!!

    I just want to point this out, before someone else does and makes me look like an idiot. More so...

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