While the way Obama always tried to politicize everything he could was not exactly surprising, a new report published on Tuesday by The Hill revealed something quite unexpected. Apparently, Disney officials were extremely frustrated and annoyed that his administration was considering using some of its cartoon characters to sell kids on climate change.
That’s right, the Obama administration wanted to target kids as a new public to push their political agenda. As if it was some kind of parody of an unscrupulous government, the way they tried to do it was by using the most popular cartoons of this powerful company.
As reported by The Hill, a former State Department official named Robert Papp, discussed the possibility of using some of these characters to teach children about a possible climate apocalypse. As you can see, it wasn’t only the idea of pushing the climate change narrative, but also to use fear mongering as the way to manipulate kids.
While the Obama administration really wanted to make this move, Disney officials told Papp in 2014 that these cartoon characters should not be used for political purposes. Naturally, this represented really bad news.
According to documents The Hill obtained via a Freedom Of Information Act request, a Disney employee wrote to the State Department in 2015 something quite unpleasant for the Obama administration. This employee said that the company felt Papp totally misrepresented the information meeting that was held at Disney in October 2014.
The senior vice president of marketing for Disney Paul Baribault met with Papp in November of 2014. The reason for this meeting was to discuss using Olaf the snowman from “Frozen” for climate messaging. That’s right the Obama administration wanted to use an important character of one of the most famous kids’ movies of all time just to sell the idea of climate change.
In March 2015, the Disney employee wrote an email to a State public affairs official called Erin Robertson, who worked for Papp, the State Department’s envoy for the Arctic. On that email, the employee wrote that it was quite frustrating to see “these types of comments continue.” In addition, this employee reiterated the company’s concern about Papp’s was still telling journalists that State was discussing using the Frozen character and other for political purposes.
Referring to Papp’s decision to praise this move during a January 2015 event in Norway for teaching children about the Arctic, the Disney employee’s email had some strong words about it. This person pointed out it was extremely bad that Papp felt the need to say that he’s continuing discussions with the company when that “simply hasn’t been the case.”
Papp explained that while Frozen taught an entire generation about the Arctic, the Arctic they’ve taught children about is a fantasy kingdom in Norway where everything is nice. Believe it or not, he pointed out that what they should really do is to educate the American youth about thawing tundra and the plight of the polar bear. In addition, Papp said they should teach every American child about the Alaskan villages that run the risk of falling into the sea. In fact, he claimed they should teach everyone this reality exists because of the lack of sea ice protecting their shores.
Basically, Papp pushed aggressively against Disney in order to use their cartoons to make children learn about the threats of climate change. Naturally, it was a disgusting moment where a government wanted to influence a powerful private company just to push its political agenda in the most aggressive way.
Apparently, Papp dismissed the idea that he continued stroking the storyline, despite the company’s clear disapproval. In fact, Papp assured that was an old story that was misrepresented in the press. Also, he pointed out he approached Disney officials with the idea and the company ultimately declined. Papp assured the reason why Disney made this decision was they didn’t want their cartoon characters to be used for negative purposes.
— Timothy Cama (@Timothy_Cama) December 12, 2017
While this whole situation was quite disgusting, it cannot be considered as a surprise. After all, the Obama administration routinely used children as weapons against the fossil fuel industry. Additionally, Obama used his daughter´s asthma attacks to personalize the climate debate in a dramatic way.
Naturally, environmental organizations eventually jumped on this bandwagon and claimed global warming would respiratory illnesses much worse in the future.