ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA — The Disney corporation recently cut ties with YouTube sensation PewDiePie recently over what the star is calling jokes he made being taken out of context. The issue at hand is whether several jokes that could be misconstrued as being antisemitic were made ironically or with a seriously malicious intent. A Wall Street Journal piece on the questionable content ultimately led to PewDiePie being cut loose from Disney.
When word of PewDiePie’s firing reached the frozen, decapitated head of Walt Disney, deep below the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland’s fabled Magic Kingdom, he was not pleased in the slightest, at least according to eye witness accounts. According to sources very close to the situation, Mr. Disney was under the impression that PewDiePie wasn’t just making ill-advised attempts at irony that he couldn’t quite pull off, but instead was genuinely antisemitic.
“You shouldn’t have sent that boy away,” Disney’s head reportedly yelled at current Disney CEO John Lassiter, “you should have given him a bigger deal! Made him a bigger star! In my day we’d have rewarded that young man, not sent him packing! Good God what has this world come to when a man can’t make a few harmless Jew jokes, for shit’s sake?”
Lassiter then, according to the same sources, told Disney’s head that PewDiePie was insisting the jokes weren’t serious anyway, and that he had to fire him to avoid a much bigger public relations incident. Disney’s disembodied head, however, was having none of that. Though he said he was “bummed” that PewDiePie isn’t an actual racist or antisemite, he still thought the company he founded made a big mistake in firing the content creator.
“Fuck that, John,” Disney said, “the First Amendment should mean something. I mean, I’m bummed as hell he may not be on my team as far as you know, those people go. But gimme a break! No one’s perfect. Can’t you have said you don’t agree with that particular part of the content, you’ve counseled him on making content like that in the future, and then get on with it? Do we not allow humans and artists to express themselves and make mistakes anymore?”
Lassiter was quiet.
“I mean, you keep making craptastic sequels to Pixar movies, John,” Disney’s head said, “and even after seeing how well Inside Out did. Should we fire you for that?”
“Yeah, but Walt,” Lassiter shot back, “I’m not putting hacky ironic antisemitism in my Pixar sequels, dude.”
Disney stopped and considered it.
“Well, sure, but still, if the man says he’s not a damn antimsemite, unless you have smoking gun proof,” Disney’s head said, “you have to give him the benefit of the doubt! At the end of the day this guy’s going to land on his feet, hopefully, but can’t we do better? At long last can’t we talk about things out in the open, discuss context, meaning, intent? Do we have to be so quick to condemn, especially when the man himself said on his Tumblr account he does not condone hate speech or hate groups?”
Lassiter agreed it would have been wiser for Disney to stand behind PewDiePie, while still admitting he needed to be better about what he put in his videos.
“Good, glad we can agree,” Disney’s head said, “now disconnect me from this machine, and take me on the rockets!”
Disney’s head had a wonderful time riding the rockets, Autopia, and the Matterhorn.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.