A column in the far-left Washington Post accuses Disney’s Lion King remake of trafficking in a “white supremacist’s worldview.”
“The first thing to understand about ‘The Lion King’ is that it isn’t in any way about lions, or any other animal species,” the column reads, adding: “As in every fable, a variety of cute and cuddly figures stand in for human societal organization. Mapping our internalized social hierarchies onto the pristine and ‘neutral’ world of the animal kingdom renders these power dynamics natural, common-sense and desirable.”
Then we come to the money quote…
“But by using predator-prey relationships to allegorize human power, the film almost inevitably incorporates the white supremacist’s worldview, one in which some groups of people are inherently superior to others.”
The piece goes on to explain that this is all really about Trump…
“Doubling down on Disney’s historical obsession with patriarchal monarchies, it places the audience’s point of view squarely with the autocratic lions, whose Pride Rock literally looks down upon all of society’s weaker groups — a kind of Trump Tower of the African savanna.”
Yes, this insightful genius actually wrote these words: “a kind of Trump Tower of the African savanna.”
The headline also accuses The Lion King of being a “fascistic story.”
And this is how someone who knows less than nothing about storytelling is allowed to write for the Washington Post.
You see, as long as you are able to put the words “white” and “supremacy” together and somehow tie all this “fascism” to President Trump, you can write all the ignorant nonsense you want and the Post will publish it.
This is, after all, the same Washington Post that secretly hired a practicing occultist to write about Christianity.
But back to this writer’s willful ignorance of how basic storytelling works.
To begin with, the idea that “every fable … stand[s] in for human societal organizations” is total garbage.
That is not at all how fables work.
Fables that involve alternate universes, far away galaxies, Middle Earths, kingdoms, monarchies, and the like — fables like The Lion King are not about advocating for a particular system of government.
What a stupid thing to suggest.
These stories are primarily about one thing: charity and justice toward others.
The whole idea behind stories about King Arthur and all the fairytales involving kings and princes and princesses and even a Lion King, is to have the child identify with the powerful central character, or the central character who will assume power, and teach that child about not abusing that power, about being a decent and fair-minded person, about maturing into a charitable king or queen who is just and brave and kind.
The idea behind these fables is to train children to be good and honest, to teach them that no matter how much power they might hold — be it on the playground or later in the boardroom — that this power only increases your responsibility to be gracious toward others and to never allow this power to corrupt you.
All the Lion King does, as other fables involving monarchies do, is use a particular world and an element of wish-fulfillment (achieving power) to spread that humanist message that you should seek to achieve power so you can do good.
The real world animal kingdom is what it is, a Darwinian nightmare where the powerful sit at the top of the food chain, period. The Lion King acknowledges this world (because it would be stupid not to) but uses that world to teaches a lesson about decency and charity and justice.
You have to be a pretty shallow thinker to believe that the use of this world automatically translates into advocating for a monarchy or fascism or white supremacy … and I can prove it…
Has the Washington Post seen Black Panther?
Is Marvel’s Black Panther advocating for white supremacy?
According to the Post it must be because within Black Panther’s world there is not only a monarchy but a system where a fight to the death decides who becomes king. The person wearing Wakanda’s crown does not lose it through birthright, wisdom, mercy, intelligence, or even competence. He can lose it through a physical challenge. Holding the crown in Wakanda is about brute strength. Is that not a perfect example of what the Post describes as “using predator-prey relationships to allegorize human power?”
What’s more, the Post argues that The Lion King “almost inevitably incorporates the white supremacist’s worldview, one in which some groups of people are inherently superior to others” — which is precisely what Black Panther does.
Our introduction to Wakanda opens with T’Challa returning to claim the throne but not before he challenges “groups of people” in competing tribes to ritual combat if they dare question his place as king.
That sure sounds to me like the superiority of one group over another.
It takes an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome to watch The Lion King and see anything other than a beautiful and endearing and, yes, moral, coming of age story about your responsibility to others, especially if you are in a position of power.
This is storytelling 101 and the Washington Post remains fake news 101.