Disney draws Catholic, Arab fire

WASHINGTON — Arab-Americans and U.S. Catholics issued separate complaints Wednesday against the Walt Disney Co., claiming its movies and television shows depict negative stereotypes.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said Disney’s “G.I. Jane” is the latest example of the studio’s insensitivity toward Arabs. The group is particularly concerned about one scene that “features a gratuitous end sequence with star Demi Moore and her Navy SEAL chums on a rampage killing Arabs.”

“Disney apparently is on a holy war against Arabs,” the group’s press release states. “The movie studio’s image of diversity seems to be that characters of various ethnicities and both genders get to slam Arabs.”

The American-Arab group cited previous Disney productions including “Operation Condor,” in which star Jackie Chan combats Arabs, and “Father of the Bride Part II,” in which Steve Martin had dealings with “a grotesque Arab character.”

The U.S. Catholic League has its own complaint concerning the upcoming ABC show “Nothing Sacred.” The group is circulating a petition addressed to Disney chairman Michael Eisner, asking him to withdraw the series set to debut Sept. 18. The group claims the show does not accurately portray the priesthood.

“The priests I know do not think of their vocation as merely a job, and they do not question the existence of God,” the petition states. The petition goes on to say that unless the show is canceled, Disney will be sending a message to the country that it “has an agenda against Catholicism.”

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