Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of Roy Disney. Walter and Roy started the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923. The multi-million-dollar company wants to make the world a better place. But Abigail wants the employees working at the Disney Theme Parks to have a better life.
In a TED talk, Abigail uses the Disney character of Jiminy Cricket as an analogy to show how the company lost its conscience. She recounts how rank and file employees could “expect to own a home, raise a family, access decent health care, and retire with some security.”
Then, after 1971, she says that Economist Milton Friedman “showed Jiminy Cricket the door with the idea of Shareholder Primacy, a mindset that jumped the rails.”
She thought long and hard about the ordinary people who work at Disney. “How are they getting by?” she thought. One day she met with a focus group to learn more about the life of Disney employees.
Like other humongous companies, Disney attracts dedicated employees who love their job. By and large, though, most employees are unable to meet basic human needs. So Abigail, a documentary filmmaker, is voicing her opinion much to the dismay of her family.
Fairy tales are not real but they are used to teach lessons. Jiminy Cricket is used to teach children about conscience. With her documentary, Abigail implies that The American Dream is just another fairy tale.
Rank and File
The people who form the major portion of a group without the leaders or officers
Show someone the door
To escort or forcibly remove one from a building
A fixed mental attitude that predetermines a person’s response to a situation
Jump the rails
To derail from a track and lose control; to suddenly go wrong
Long and hard
To take the time needed to understand something before making a decision about it
To live with the minimum amount of necessities required to survive
By and large
In general; overall
Voice (one’s) opinion
To say what you think and feel
QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH THE TEACHER
Who, What, Where, When, Why, How
Q&A WITH A PARTNER IN YOUR OWN WORDS
Ask the same questions as the teacher or form your own.
What is the moral of the story or what lessons have you learned?
What experiences have you had with the new idioms you’ve learned?