Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Doc McStuffins Is More Than Just a Children's Show

Dear Disney,

We love you.

By we, I mean my beautiful little girl, Lotus, and to a lesser extent--me.

My love is the love of nostalgia. I remember sitting in a movie theater, my hands greasy with popcorn, watching Mary Poppins with my grandmother. I was so excited that I recognized her voice as Maria from The Sound Of Music (which I had seen on TV a few days before) I spilled the popcorn on Grandma. She was so excited, she went to get me more. I remember watching The Rescuers with my brother. He had been complaining that he had to babysit and take me to a  "baby" movie. By the end of the movie, he was planning to return with his friend.  That was Disney magic for me.

My daughter is one of the many who watch Frozen at least once a week. More than Frozen is her obsession (and, as a Trekkie  I don't use that word lightly) with your show PJ Masks. The day is not complete unless she can watch one of those episodes and ask the myriad four-year-old questions that come to her mind. She also loves The Lion Guard and, of course, Doc McStuffins.

Through my daughter's love of PJ Masks I watch how important representation is. You see my daughter is Asian, as is Owlette--her favorite PJ Mask. Representation changes "I love that superhero!" to "I could be that superhero!"

Now I hear that you are considering taking that representation away from millions of African-American children. Why would you do this? From everything I've read the show has a massive following and good ratings. It has won the NAACP Award and the Peabody award for excellence. It is not played out. Moreover it started the most amazing adoption storyline. One that again spells representation for many who are not represented.

Let me end with what happened on Christmas. Santa gave our daughter a beautiful "Frozen" doll kit.  In two seconds she was playing with it.  In two minutes Anna's arm broke off. The next day we went to the Disney store at the mall to see about getting it fixed or replaced. The absolutely amazing cast member examined the doll and then knelt down to talk to my daughter.

"Sweetie, this is a bit beyond me."She told my daughter. "But don't worry, We're going to send Anna to Doc McStuffins and she'll send her right back to you as soon as she can."

"Will she need the surgery?" Lotus asked. Tears were filling her little eyes. She had seen the episode where the toy required overnight surgery with the doc.

"I don't know," the lady said. "that's up to Doc."

"Will Doc hold her other hand?"

"I think Hallie usually does that when the doc is busy." Was the response. Lotus considered it and nodded.

"Thank you!" I said to the cast member.

"Don't thank me." She said with feeling. "Thank Doc McStuffins." Then she took my information and two weeks later we had a brand new Anna doll. For months whenever Doc McStuffins was on, Lotus would get Anna and watch with her. Why on earth would you take that away from the employees of your stores?

Please consider this my request to renew Doc McStuffins.

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