This company has areas of concern around Worker's Rights and Business Ethics.
500 S. Buena Vista St. Burbank CA USA
Public (NYSE: DIS)
The monarch of this magic kingdom is no man but a mouse -- Mickey Mouse. The Walt Disney Company is the world's #2 media conglomerate (behind Time Warner) with assets encompassing movies, music, publishing, television, and theme parks. Its TV holdings include the ABC television network and 10 broadcast stations, as well as a portfolio of cable networks including ABC Family, A&E Television Networks (37%-owned), and ESPN (80%). Walt Disney Studios produces films through such imprints as Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, Pixar, and Miramax. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is one of the top theme park operators in the world, anchored by its popular Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts.
 Corporate Facts
The Walt Disney Corporation formally began in 1923 when the "Alice's Wonderland" comedy series was contracted for release by M.J. Winkler. The company was initially run by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney, with each having equal ownership, under the name Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Roy then suggested that the company just be called Walt Disney Studios, and his brother gave his consent.
The company found a permanent resting place on Hyperion Avenue in Hollywood, California. On November 18, 1928, the first ever cartoon featuring synchronized sound premiered under the title "Steamboat Willie." This release gave Walt Disney Studios world wide fame. In 1930 the merchandising of Disney blossomed, with the release of the first Mickey Mouse comic strip and book.
On July 7, 1955, Disneyland opened, and in 1971 Disney World opened its doors to visitors. In 1983 the Disney Channel, and a year later Touchstone Pictures, was established. In 1996, The Walt Disney Corporation purchased Capital Cities/ABC and received 10 television stations, 21 radio stations, and seven daily newspapers.
As of 2008, the Walt Disney Corporation has 137,000 employees. Its net income in the year 2007 was 3.832 billion dollars. The corporation sells on average 274 million children's magazines, 120 million children's books, and 2.9 million Disney character t-shirts annually at Disney World. With all of its parks combined, Disney occupies 1949 acres of land in Orlando, Tokyo, Paris, Anaheim, Chiba, and Hong Kong. 100 million dollars are spent annually to maintain the integrity of the Magic Kingdom. 
 Worker's Rights / Fair Trade Violations
Disney has been accused of Sweatshop employment:
- In December of 2000, CBC Marketplace received reports from Human Rights activists documenting that Disney was running unethical factories in China. The factories' employees were forced to work seventeen hours a day, every day for weeks; furthermore, the corporation refused to pay the workers minimum wage, and would charge them a fine for talking or using the bathroom without attaining prior permission. Source: CBC Marketplace, Dec. 5, 2000.
- Further allegations were revealed in 2007 when factory workers admitted to being fined for occupying the lavatory for more than five minutes, and stated that they were forced to live with up to fifteen other people in inhumanely small dormitories. The workers, who made Tigger, Eeyore, and Minnie Mouse toys, articulated that they are only allowed one day off per month. Source: Times Online, Dec. 23, 2007. 
- Sacom (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior) researched the state of one of the sweatshops operated by Disney. Known as the Dongguan Tianyu Toys Co. Ltd., the sweatshop forces workers to work twelve to fifteen hour days, vastly exceeding China's legal limit of 8 hours maximum. During times of higher demand such as the holiday season, workers are denied days off, resulting in over 400 hours of labor per month. The average workday for on of Tianyu's employees begins at eight in the morning and ends at midnight. Source: Sacom.hk 
- In response to the aforementioned accusations by Sacom, Disney ended it's relationship with Dongguan Tianyu Toys. The swift and inconclusive nature of this ending left the factory unsupported and the workers unemployed. Source: Sacom.hk
- The Disney Corporation refuses to publish the names of any of its factories in China. By concealing these factories, It is more difficult for independent inspectors to conduct evaluations of the factories' working conditions. Source: Berne Declaration, Mar. 1, 2006. 
- In 2004, it was uncovered that the owner of a Disney supported factory in Bangladesh denies workers their pay until approximately two weeks into the following month. This goes against the laws of Bangladesh, which state that workers are to be paid no later than one week after the month in which those earnings were made. The withholding of income was the result of the owner's decision to allow the money to receive seven to eight percent interest on the funds to lower payroll costs. Source: National Labor Committee.
- In Haiti, a Disney owned factory pays the workers the official minimum wage, which, although legal, is not enough money for workers to support their families. The income, which is thirty cents an hour, seems meager in comparison to the fact that a meal itself costs about two dollars and eighty nine cents, and that it only amounts to approximately half of a legitimate living wage, which is sixty cents. Source: Third World Traveler, Dec. 1998.
 Business Ethics Complaints
- In June of 2008, a practicing Sikh faced discrimination and was fired from his position as a performing musician at Disney World due to his inability to adapt to the "Disney Look." To accommodate this look the Sikh would have had to violate his religious practices by removing his turban and shaving his beard. The Sikh, named Sukhbir Channa, was demoted to doing menial tasks, and was eventually fired for lacking the "Disney Look." Source: The Economic Times, Jun. 15, 2008. 
- The Disney corporation attempted to block the release of the 2004 film "Fahrenheit 9/11" from Miramax Films. The company was eventually able to purchase the rights to the film back from Disney. Source: Lessig, May 5, 2004. 
- A similar event occurred when Disney blocked the release of the film Dogma due to it's irreverent approach to the practice of Catholicism. Miramax was unable to reclaim the motion picture, and it eventually was released by Lions Gate Films. Source: Fox News, May 12, 2004. 
- In Walt Disney World, disabled individuals are required to rent either a wheelchair or a motor scooter from the corporation to be able to visit the parks. Renting a wheelchair costs ten dollars a day, and forty-five for an ECV. The corporation has further denied the use of the Segway for people who are disabled in the parks because they are a safety hazard. It is also a safety concern because several Cast Members ride Segways, so it's important that Guests not get confused between who works for the Company and who doesn't. Seven thousand people need Segways to become mobile, as they suffer from debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's disease and multiple Sclerosis. Source: Lawyers and Settlements, Nov. 16, 2007.  However people with disabilities as mentioned can rent a wheel chairs so they don't have a reason to have a Segway.
- In 1993 Elena and Jaime Boruchovas visited Disney World to commemorate their thirtieth wedding anniversary. While watching a parade in the Magic Kingdom, one of the floats hit a curb, and sent one of the seven dwarfs toppling onto Mrs. Boruchovas, and the lights the dwarf was covered in exploded. She was brought immediately to a hospital. On her third day in the hospital, a Disney representative named Aronfeld visited Elena and used his fluency in Spanish to convince her to sign a paper in English, which she was incapable of reading. He also provided her with one thousand, two hundred, and twenty two dollars. Mrs. Boruchovas stated afterwards that she thought she was simply signing a receipt for the money. The paper removed Disney from any liability in the event. Her leg became infected, and multiple skin grafts were required to repair the detriment. When the couple decided to sue, witnesses were told by Disney to not respond to the phone calls. Source: Associated Press, Sep. 30, 1996. 
 Political Influence
- Disney spent $374,453 on the 2004 presidential campaign to support their candidates, $99,000 to Democrats in the House of Representatives, and $53,000 to Democrats in the Senate. To Republicans, the corporation gave $96,500 to the House of Representatives, and $49,000 to the Senate according to statistics released by the Federal Election Commission, or FEC. Source: OpenSecrets.org 2004
- The 2006 campaign received $549,375 from Walt Disney Corporation according to the FEC. $122,000 of which went to Democrats in the House of Representatives, $54,000 went to Democrats in the Senate, $113,500 of which went to Republicans in the House of Representatives, and $72,000 of which went to Republicans in the Senate. Source: OpenSecrets.org 2006
- So far in the 2008 election, Disney has spent a total of $461,151 according to the FEC. Democratic members of the House of Representatives received $93,500, Democratic members of the senate received $40,500, Republicans in the House received $94,000 and Republicans in the Senate received $45,500. Source: OpenSecrets.org 2008
 Environmental Criticism
- In 2003, there was a report stating that the export of tropical fish from the Vanuatu archipelago skyrocketed after the release of the film Finding Nemo. In the year the film was released, 200,000 animals were exported from the reefs. The people who take the fish from the restricted areas seem to lack an understanding of the time required for a reef to recover. If such activities continue, the reefs and their ecosystems could be permanently damaged. Source: Guardian, Nov. 21, 2003.  However, this cannot be blamed on the movie in itself. The movie was very anti-selling fish. Obviously the viewers of Finding Nemo missed the message.
- Disney films throughout their history have championed environmental responsibility. At Cambridge University, a professor of English named David Whitley articulates that the characters such as Snow White and Cinderella serve as role models for the children who watch the films, viewing their close relationship with animals to be admirable. He further gives movies such as Bambi credit for inspiring many of the 1960's environmental activists. Their most recent release Wall E is contiguous with this pattern. Among his sources, Whitley sites Eisner's founding of the Environmental Media Association. Source: Thai Indian News, Mar. 25, 2008.
- In April of 2007, the Walt Disney Corporation opened its Fairy Tale Weddings to same sex couples. Source: Advertising Age, Oct. 18, 2007.