Come To Think Of It “Magic Kingdom” Does Have An Imperial Ring To It

USA Today: Hong Kong Disneyland’s debut was marred by public relations debacles that left Mickey Mouse looking like Cinderella’s stepmother in this former British colony.
In the days surrounding the opening this fall of Hong Kong Disneyland, the entertainment giant enraged local pop stars, antagonized labor leaders and earned a rebuke from its own partner in the theme park, the Hong Kong government. Last month, a disgruntled, fired employee climbed atop Space Mountain and threatened to kill himself until he was talked down.
Disney ran into similar troubles when it opened Euro Disney (later renamed Disneyland Resort Paris) in 1992: French critics decried what they saw as U.S. cultural imperialism; theater director Ariane Mnouchkine famously called it a “cultural Chernobyl.” Hundreds of Euro Disney workers walked off the job within days, complaining about working conditions.
Labor activists charged Disney is forcing staff to work 11- and 13-hour days, providing inadequate breaks and rewriting daily work schedules without notice. “Their management is very backward,” says Elaine Hui of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, which is trying to organize Disneyland workers into a union.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.