DISNEY UNWAVERING ON DALAI LAMA FILM.Byline: Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
Walt Disney Noun 1. Walt Disney - United States film maker who pioneered animated cartoons and created such characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; founded Disneyland (1901-1966)
Disney, Walter Elias Disney Co. has decided to stick with a deal to distribute a new film about Tibet's exiled religious leader the Dalai Lama Dalai Lama (dä`lī lä`mə) [Tibetan,=oceanic teacher], title of the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Believed like his predecessors to be the incarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 1935–, , despite the risk it could jeopardize the company's expansion in China.
Disney made its position clear for the first time Tuesday since reports surfaced that Chinese officials privately had expressed their displeasure to the company about the project.
The film, ``Kundun,'' is one of two movies under production about the Dalai Lama. China's anger over the film comes as Disney officials look for ways to expand the Magic Kingdom into the world's most populous nation.
``We have an agreement to distribute the film and we will honor it,'' said John Dreyer John Louis Emil Dreyer (February 13 1852 – September 14 1926) was a Danish-Irish astronomer.
He was born Johan Ludvig Emil Dreyer in Copenhagen. In 1874, at the age of 22, he went to Ireland to work as the assistant of Lord Rosse (the son and successor of the , a Disney spokesman. He would comment no further on the decision.
The Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. winner, has called for Tibetan independence and is viewed by the Beijing government as a threat to China's rule over the former Himalayan kingdom.
China's position on the film raised concerns that it would use Disney's desire to expand in China as a wedge to force the company to distance itself from the project. The Chinese haven't said whether or how Disney, the world's second-largest media and entertainment company, will be penalized pe·nal·ize
tr.v. pe·nal·ized, pe·nal·iz·ing, pe·nal·iz·es
1. To subject to a penalty, especially for infringement of a law or official regulation. See Synonyms at punish.
Disney will distribute the film in the United States under a four-year production deal that brought Martin Scorsese, the director of ``Kundun,'' to the company's lot.
Given Disney's desire to attract major talents like Scorsese, some entertainment industry executives said it was important for Disney to back the film. They also saw the decision as a test of Disney's commitment to artistic freedom.
``What this shows is how desperate China is to try to marginalize mar·gin·al·ize
tr.v. mar·gin·al·ized, mar·gin·al·iz·ing, mar·gin·al·iz·es
To relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing. and, if possible, silence the Dalai Lama, which is something that dictatorial regimes like to do,'' said Danny Schechter, co-executive producer of ``Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television.'' ``Unfortunately, Mao's legacy and Mickey Mouse's legacy are colliding here.''