Megan Basham, The Daily Wire’s culture reporter, told the Todd Starnes Show Disney’s CEO and high-level executives, who are somewhat conservative, caved to the Left inside the company.
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The following is a rush transcript from The Todd Starnes Radio Show. Listen to the program live Monday – Friday from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Click here to listen to the full interview.
TODD STARNES: [00:45:50] Our good friend Megan Basham is on the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line right now. Megan, good to have you with us. [00:45:56][5.5]
MEGAN BASHAM: [00:45:57] Always good to be here Todd, thanks for having me. [00:45:59][2.1]
TODD: [00:46:00] All right, look, let’s just jump right into this. What did you discover? I know people have been reaching out to you inside Disney. What are they telling you? [00:46:08][7.9]
MEGAN: [00:46:10] Yeah. You know, it’s been really interesting how the employees of Disney, there must just be a lot of them who feel very censored, very afraid for their job. Because a couple reached out to me, I wrote one story and then the floodgates kind of opened. Suddenly, my DMs are just filled with Disney employees, letting me know that they are not happy with what the company is doing. I wrote a very long piece this week. I’m going to try to summarize it, but essentially the newish CEO of Disney, a man named Bob Chapek, is actually a fairly conservative guy. He’s more of a pragmatic guy than anything. Certainly more conservative, though, than the prior CEO Bob Iger, who was a big Democratic donor. Well, Bob Chapek came in and let everyone know that there is a new sheriff in town. Disney is not going to continue to be political. It’s not going to continue to pressure legislators. Well, that lasted for about five minutes. So then the Florida bill, the very Good Florida bill, the parents rights and education was passed in Florida, waiting for Gov. DeSantis signature. And in that interim time, the activist employees at Disney have just been getting up to all kinds of malarkey. Let me use the word malarkey. They’ve been leaking things to the press. They’ve been to running to their social media to air grievances, calling Disney homophobic, transphobic all the typical words. But you know, to me, I go. I just think some people should be fired. But that is not what happened. Bob Chapek became very frightened of all of this negative media attention. I spoke to one very high-level Disney executive who is also conservative, somewhat secret conservative, who told me that Bob Chapek was facing a deep state of his own at Disney and that frightened him and out of the mix of cowardice and not really understanding what he was up against. He backed down. So they have really, really backed down. They are now saying that, yeah, that they’re opposing the Florida bill. They’ve ended all political donations in Florida. And then at a meeting yesterday where employees were messaging me during the meeting, all hands on deck town hall within Disney, they were saying that their ship has been completely taken. Now Disney is announcing that they are going to oppose Texas Gov. Greg Abbott order to investigate those who would perform sex change surgeries and sex change treatment on children for abuse. They are opposed to that. So de facto Disney is now, I guess, for sex changes on children. [00:48:48][157.9]
TODD: [00:48:48] And Megan, one of the words that stood out to me in your piece, involved the Human Rights Campaign. Whenever you see those three words, it is bad news for freedom and America because these folks are radical leftists and they want to shut you down. And I saw them do the same thing. I mean, you talk about a deep state. There was a deep state at Fox News Channel, and they’re just funneling these human rights campaign journalists into the building. And then people are shocked, you know, when they when they stop covering these important issues involving sex and gender. And I see the same thing happening based on the reading of this story. The same thing is happening with Disney right now. [00:49:31][42.7]
MEGAN: [00:49:33] Yeah. And I think that that’s a really important point and something that conservatives need to wake up to is that these things are not just happening organically. There are very, very motivated and strategic activists on the left, and they have figured out how to leverage pressure against corporations to turn them into political weapons. So, you know, no element of your life is allowed to be politically neutral now from, you know, the soda you drink to the razors you buy. So I think that’s something that conservatives are going to have to come to terms, come to terms with. And that was kind of part of our reporting was discussing just how these it’s called environmental and social governance investing. It’s a very big topic. But what it is, is how these activists get in companies and threaten them so they don’t do what’s best for the bottom line. They make political choices. [00:50:22][49.7]
TODD: [00:50:23] And that explains why they’re going back and adding in the the lesbian scene to the new Pixar movie coming out-the prequel to Toy Story. [00:50:31][8.1]
MEGAN: [00:50:33] Yeah, I mean, can you imagine just a couple of years ago, I really can’t even wrap my head around it that that we’re having a same sex kiss in a children’s movie. So those are the demands. Remember when they told us, We’re not after your kids? Where did that go? [00:50:45][12.1]
TODD: [00:50:46] Oh yeah. You know, they’re after the kids. That reminds me, and I’m going to try to tie this in. A couple of years ago, there was a lot of turmoil in Austin, Texas, the independent school district. They had churches that were renting school buildings on Sundays for services, while the LGBT mob came after the school district. The school district ended up standing their ground, but Megan and a and an about face, they took all the rent money the churches were paying, and they used that money to fund the district’s gay pride celebrations. And the lesson here, there are so many evangelicals, so many people of faith that go down to Disney and they just turn a blind eye to all of this. But in reality Megan, imagine they’re the ones that are funding or at least helping to fund all of this. [00:51:33][47.0]
MEGAN: [00:51:35] Right. And I think that that’s something we need to talk about because you go. Yes, we are to be as innocent as doves. But scripture also tells us to be wise as serpents. And I think we’ve been lacking that. I think there’s been a naivete and just a real slowness to catch up with what the left is doing. [00:51:51][16.1]
TODD: [00:51:51] And to that point, years ago, this was back in the 1990s. Dr. Richard Land, who was actually a tremendous leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, launched the big boycott of Disney World and got crucified not just by the left, but even today. Many of these woke evangelicals just dismiss Dr. Land and that whole effort. But now look at where we are with Disney, and they’re using all of their profits to do horrible things. [00:52:23][31.3]
MEGAN: [00:52:25] Yeah, and I think that that actually is another really interesting conversation we need to have. Another colleague of mine at the Daily Wire, Andrew Cleveland, brought up this week that, you know, there’s a tendency now in evangelical circles and southern Baptist circles in particular to sort of sneer at Jerry Falwell and the moral majority. But you go, they were activated and organized, and in a lot of ways they held the line for the common good for a culture that allowed more introduction of the gospel and and prevented kids from being sucked into really demonic ideology. So I think we need to revisit how we think about these, these sort of Christian warriors of yesteryear. [00:53:04][39.5]
TODD: [00:53:05] No, I’m all for that. And on that note, you’ve got another great piece up at the Daily Wire and again on the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line Megan Basham from dailywire.com. You’ve been following the developments in my denomination of the Southern Baptist Convention announcing the nomination of Tom Haskell and Voddie Bahchaum to fight back against this woke drift in the Southern Baptist Convention. [00:53:28][22.8]
MEGAN: [00:53:30] Yeah, so they reached out and offered me an exclusive on and, you know, revealing their announcement to the world before anyone else in the press, and I was happy to have that and it was a great interview. I think a lot of people are very particularly excited to hear about Voddie Bahchaum getting involved. He just has a huge fan following-people who really respect and appreciate his bold voice and speaking out against racial ideologies that divide Christians among the colors of their skin. So I think a lot of people are super excited about that, and I appreciated the chance to do it. So, yeah, I hope everyone reads that piece, and I don’t. I’ll say bluntly, I don’t know the other candidate at all who is currently has already accepted the- well, I guess you guys don’t nominate until the actual convention, but he has said he will accept the nomination. Another pastor by the name of Willie Wright. So a lot of people are going after me on social media and I just kind of said, Look, I don’t really know this person. I don’t know his record. I just saw what I saw that is out there right now. [00:54:33][63.0]
TODD: [00:54:34] Oh, he’s a leftist. Yeah, he’s one of these Russ Moore woke leftists. That’s who he is. And he compared Trump voters to idolaters. Now they’re trying to disappear all of his social media footprint. But you know, that stuff is always going to be there, Megan. And so it’s a troubling thing, and it’s just a difficult time in the Southern Baptist Convention. And I think people didn’t understand how left that convention was going, and I hope they can save it. [00:55:06][32.4]
MEGAN: [00:55:07] Yeah, and I will say this. You know, the same week that we’re having these conversations, I’m seeing pastors posting pretty alarming environmental talk things along those lines that I go, wow, anytime I see pastors whose political preoccupations dovetail perfectly with the political preoccupations of the last, you know, alarm bells go off in my head. [00:55:28][21.1]
TODD: [00:55:29] Yeah. All you need to know about the woke southern Baptist crowd. They were the ones they had a big gathering back in 2016. They invited Hillary Clinton. They invited Jeb Bush. And they invited Marco Rubio, none of whom happen to be a southern Baptist. Meanwhile, they ignored Mike Huckabee, who was in fact, a Southern Baptist candidate at the time. So that’s who these people are. [00:55:52][22.9]
MEGAN: [00:55:53] Yeah. When I was working on this report, one of the things that did bother me was for all of this talk of racial justice. It seemed very clear that there’s a tendency to ignore the black and Hispanic SBC leaders and voices who don’t align with a left wing ideology so that was curious to me that I went, Gosh, why are you ignoring people like Lee Brandon, Carol Swain and Voddie Baucham? I’m just a little strange. [00:56:18][25.9]
TODD: [00:56:19] It is all these woke white preachers. I think they’ve got a Biden race problem myself, but that’s just me. Megan, we’re going to have to leave it there. Great stories, as always. Keep up the good work. [00:56:32][12.4]
MEGAN: [00:56:33] I appreciate it. Thank you. You too, Todd [00:56:35][1.6]