Tuned In

Outsourcing Disney's Teensploitation

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I’m on deadline this morning, working on a (thankfully brief) piece about l’affaire Montana for the print Time. In the meantime, and on a related note, you might want to check out this story in Slate. Even as Disney was outraged over Miley Cyrus’ photos on this side of the Pacific, across the waves in China one of its advertising licensees has been slapping the Disney logo—and the pictures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse—on creepy photos of a young girl in her underwear.

Disney spokesman Gary Foster tells Slate’s Daniel Brook the billboard will come down immediately, but, as Brook reports, adds a defense:

Here, of course, it’s rules of taste and propriety that are involved, and the ad may play differently to a local audience than it did to me and Foster. The age of consent in China is 14, compared with 18 in Disney’s home state of California. “I don’t want to make excuses for them at all because it is not anything that we would ever approve, but in other parts of the world this is not unusual at all,” Foster said. “In fact, in Europe, they have similar type of taste, if you will. Here in China that’s not unusual at all, but it’s not usual for the Disney brand.”

Well, sure. And in Vanity Fair it’s not unusual at all to photograph starlets in states of undress. In the meantime, would you tell Donald Duck to put some pants on?