Internet Roasts Man Who Complained That Disney World Is Too 'Woke' Now

by Julie Scagell
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images & Twitter

Disney has apparently taken a “woke scalpel” to some rides and this white dad is not having it

Self-described “Christian and conservative Republican” Jonathan VanBoskerck published an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel about Disney’s “wokeness” ruining his immersive experience at the theme park. He’s referring to the fact that Disney has plans to update certain rides that rely on racist tropes or are based on racist source material, like Splash Mountain. Plus, he also doesn’t like that Disney employees get to wear their hair how they like it now. Shortly after publication he got his ass handed to him in an manner fitting such a diatribe.

VanBoskerck, a whole adult white man, took time out of his busy schedule as Assistant District Attorney for Clark County, Nevada to write an opinion piece about how he may not return to the theme park he and his family love because the magical spell “is broken when the immersive experience is shattered by the real world.” For him, this means removing culturally insensitive characters and songs from some of his most treasured rides that let him get lost in a world of pirate-raping and slave trades.

VanBoskerck first complains about the fact that Disney employees now have more freedom to wear their hair how they want and show their tattoos, which they previously had to cover. According to him, this pisses him off because he doesn’t “get to express my individuality at my place of business.” Sir, you have on a Hawaiian shirt with creepy children’s figurines in your office. That’s enough expression for the rest of us, kay thanks.

The op-ed then takes aim at Splash Mountain and the Jungle Cruise ride, as well as the changes to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride that have already taken place because it’s a real “mood killer” for him and his family.

“Now every time I look at [Splash Mountain] I am thinking about politics,” instead of reveling in the perpetuation of black stereotypes.

Next up, says VanBoskerck, is the fact that Disney took the “woke scalpel to the Jungle Cruise.” He’s downright irked that Trader Sam — the jungle’s “head” salesman — is gone for good. VanBoskerck is mad that a racist depiction of Indigenous peoples is no longer, and dammit he feels gaslighted.

“It is no more based in racism than every Disney caricature of an out-of-touch white American dad,” wrote VanBoskerck. Ahh to be a white American dad and suffer through the trials and tribulations that white men have shouldered over the years must feel heavy. One can only imagine the tiny cuts you feel walking through the park, bravely putting on a smile so your family can enjoy their “No Way Jose” Sundae in peace.

Pirates of the Carribbean is up next for VanBoskerck. “When my family rides Pirates now, each of the changed scenes takes us out of the illusion because they remind us of reality and the politics that forced the changes,” he wrote. He and his kids can no longer view women (well, animatronic representations of women) tied together awaiting an auction where they’ll be sold to pirates against their will under banner that read “Take a Wench for a Bride.” Color me surprised.

The ride’s makeover is one of many initiatives to promote diversity and remove culturally insensitive imagery from the parks, but for this lawyer-turned-writer, he simply feels, “more and more excluded by Disney’s decisions.” There truly are no words.