As a college student at the University of Florida I often visited Orlando, Florida, home of the famous Disney World, also colorfully referred to by most locals as the “Evil Empire.” They spoke of Disney Jail and how the land Disney World was built on is technically not America, so you can even be tried in Disney court. I couldn’t believe there was such a thing as Disney Jail until March 7th, when Disney, the parent company for ABC, stripped the Academy Awards signal from 3.1 million New Yorkers because of cash dispute. Thirteen minutes into the programming ABC appeared to relent by restoring the signal to New Yorkers, but has the damage already been done? The point that millions of New Yorkers were held prisoner while these two money making conglomerates jerked themselves off [via email and fax] is not only an insult to all the hard working New Yorkers who still care about Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, but a scary reflection of Disney’s ultimate power.
Here’s another thought: Was the Academy aware of ABC’s decision to cut off its largest demographic? If so, does that make it any better? Will the 83rd Academy Awards be on ABC? Does it deserve to be? Would this have happened on NBC or CBS? It almost did with Fox a few months ago. I kept thinking how I’d feel if I couldn’t watch the New Orleans Saints’ miraculous victory over the Indianapolis Colts or Hideki Matsui’s clutch performance in Game 7 of the 2009 World Series because of a cash dispute that had nothing to do with me. I paid my bill so I should be able to watch Jeff Bridges a.k.a. “The Dude” win awards just like my friends with Verizon, DirecTV, and Dish Network Corp. Btw – Shout out to The Dude and Sandra Bullock.
Back to my thought provoking tirade: these big money making babies flexed their wireless muscles and the only ones who seemed to suffer were the poor people who scoured the city in search of digital bunny ears, and NBA fans who missed their Sunday afternoon games. Apparently Disney Jail is not only a place you get sent to for punking the guy in a Mickey Mouse suit; it is also a place you go for accidentally choosing the wrong cable service provider. If this is how justice works in Disney World I’d hate to imagine what happens to people found guilty in their court system.