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Monday, July 13, 1998 Published at 00:41 GMT 01:41 UK


Texas dumps Disney

Not all sweet innocence, says Education Board

The BBC's Paul Reynolds reports from Washington:

In Texas, the Board of Education, which runs the schools in the state, has voted to sell its holdings of shares in the Walt Disney company, because it claims that Disney films are showing too much sex and violence these days.

One board member said that Disney wasn't just Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck any more. It was blowing people's heads off.

And so the board voted to sell its $45m worth of stock in protest. What upset its members in particular was the film Pulp Fiction made by a Disney subsidiary.

This starred John Travolta in a comic book-style series of violent events. It was Pulp Fiction which finally convinced the board chairman to support the move.

Another complaint was that Disney companies have allegedly supported pro-homosexual views. An annual Gay Day was held at Disney World in Florida, and the comedy series 'Ellen', in which the heroine declared that she was lesbian, was made by another Disney company.

The decision could be seen in the broader context of efforts by right-wing Christian groups, especially in the southern states, to try to clean up, as they see it, the entertainment industry. The Texas move follows a decision by the Southern Baptist Convention last year to boycott Disney because of its promotion of 'immoral practices'.

A spokeswoman for Disney said that the company did not discriminate against people on the basis of sexual preference or on any other basis.

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