Did Disney Block A Little Girl From Using The Word “God” On Their Site?

Fact checked

Disney Hates The Word “God”?  Well… Yes and No…

Known for jumping on bandwagons without fact checking, mainstream media news often latches onto stories that they think (hope, pray, and really, really wish) middle America will latch onto.  That is the case of Fox News reporter Todd Starnes, a little girl named Lilly Anderson, and Lilly’s mother.

To make a long story short, Lilly’s mother wrote a heartbreaking account on Starnes’ Facebook wall about how, on Lilly’s birthday after church she eagerly went onto the Disney Channel’s website.  That day, the website happened to be asking what the visiting kids were thankful for.  As stated in the inevitable Fox News article by Starnes, Lilly wrote: “God, my family, and friends”.

I’ll let Starnes take it from here: “Lilly pressed the return key and waited for her answer to appear on the website. But her response did not appear. Instead, a message written in red popped up on the screen.

Please be nice!’ the message read. (editor’s note: creepy response, Disney.  Creepy response.)  Lilly tried again and again with no luck – so she told her parents.

‘It was Lilly’s idea alone to include God in her post,’ Julie told me. ‘As a matter of fact she was in another room from me and she came and got me when it wouldn’t allow her to post.’  Julie retyped the message and the same red-lettered warning appeared.

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We together figured out that the word God was the problem,’ Julie said.  Sure enough, when they removed the word “God” from the post – the Disney Channel approved Lilly’s message. And then – Julie contacted me.

So, I gave it a try, too. I tried posting what I was thankful for on the Disney Channel website.  And just like Lilly and Julie, Disney prevented me from posting any message that included the word ‘God.’

I reached out to Disney for an explanation. Their people tell me that God was not intentionally blocked from the channel’s website however at this point, they aren’t quite sure why it happened but they assured me they had a team working on it.” [1]

Here is the original FOX Video from the story:

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com


Todd Starnes – Hero?

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Of course, the story was left at that and exploded over Christian blogs, radio shows, and publications.  Online radio host Ricky Scaparo did a piece on the subject (video below), and in the desperation box, wrote:  “A 10 Year Old Girl From North Carolina learned the hard way that God cannot be “Thanked” publicly on the Disney Channel Website.” with a link to another website, The End Times Headlines (link).  [2]

Here is the Ricky Scaparo radio show video, entitled “Disney gives God the cold shoulder”:

The above is just one of literally hundreds of stories (mostly copy and pastes) written about this one topic.  Now, I’m not saying Disney, the Walt Disney Company or it’s affiliates are saints in any way – but, as with most truth movements – we have to be careful what we so (sometimes) carelessly regurgitate without fact checking.  Case in point:  Disney did end up issuing a statement, and the explanation was far, far less sinister.

Disney Explains

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The initial article was published on December 1st, and by the third, Disney had issued a statement.  An article from Right Wing Watch [3], entitled, “Todd Starnes: Wrong Again”,discusses how Fox News and Starnes jumped on this Facebook message like rabid wolves without doing their proper checks and balances.

Right Wing Watch says:  “Predictably, Fox News seized on the story and interviewed the mother and daughter about Disney’s blatant hostility toward God, which eventually prompted Disney to issue an exasperated statement, which Starnes has now added to his column, pointing out that it was not bigotry at work, but simple filtering software:

‘Disney employs word filtering technology to prevent profanity from appearing on our websites. Unfortunately, because so many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word “God” in conjunction with profanity, in an abundance of caution our system is forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on our websites. The company would have been happy to explain our filtering technology to the inquiring family had they contacted us.'”

Now, of course, Disney could be lying – but it does seem plausible a corporation as massive as Disney would have certain automatic filters in place to keep their content family friendly.  Or, do you think that Disney is genuinely trying to take God out of children’s lives?  Let me know in the comment section below! [3]


[1] http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/12/01/why-did-disney-block-god/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZOChWY6mlA#t=125

[3] http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/todd-starnes-wrong-again