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Statements made at a City Council meeting by a man claiming to be Disney executive Alan Bergman were intended to be satire.
The man in the video is Mark Dice, a conservative YouTuber, who often speaks at local council meetings in the public comment portion to satirically mock perceived liberal causes.
Disney has not announced any plans to open transgender clinics for children.
Mark Dice, a popular conservative commentator and YouTuber, often speaks during the public comment portion at city council meetings. He poses as other people to poke fun at what he perceives to be liberal causes.
Although those who follow his videos are usually in on the joke, others on social media spread them online without offering any distinction that they are intended as satire.
One July 7 Facebook reel showed a split-second screenshot of a headline that read, "Disney executive reveals shocking next phase for the company. Nobody saw this coming, or did they?"
The rest of the video showed Dice introducing himself at a city council meeting as Alan Bergman, the co-chairman of the entertainment division at The Walt Disney Co.
"We’re proud to announce that this summer we’re going to be opening Disney-themed pediatric transgender clinics for the children across the country," Dice said.
"Our Disney-branded puberty blockers and our character-themed clinics" will help reduce the stigma transgender and nonbinary children face, he continued, and "normalize these ideas." He said every patient will receive a season pass to a Disney theme park and clinic visitors will receive a six-month subscription to the Disney+ streaming service.
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The video comes from a June 21 City Council meeting in Oceanside, a small California city north of San Diego. The council gives three minutes of public comment to anyone who fills out a form at the door, and Dice was the last to speak. No council members responded to Dice’s remarks.
Dice shared the meeting video June 28 on his YouTube page under the headline, "Disney’s creepy new plan for kids."
On Facebook, few commenting on the reel resharing the video caught the humor; by July 10, it had 179,000 views and more than 3,400 comments. "Creepy much," wrote one person. "I was about to go to Disney but no way I’m canceling the trip," wrote another.
The video shared in the Facebook reel was originally posted July 5 to TikTok. That video added text captions to the video and interspersed screenshots of headlines and images. Neither the TikTok nor the reel make mention of it being satire. When a TikTok commenter questioned whether it was real, the TikTok creator replied, "i don’t blame u but as unbelievable this is its legit."
Dice’s stunt tied in two causes conservatives have rallied against in recent months: Disney, which has come under criticism from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others, and transgender care for children, which many states have sought to restrict.
Dice has posted videos of his council meeting antics before, including one in which he made outlandish comments about Pride Month. In another, he wore a wig and posed as a professor defending teaching critical race theory.
"I enjoy laughing at liberal lunatics, mocking celebrity scum, and exposing the Liberal Media Industrial Complex," Dice wrote on his YouTube account description.
Dice shared the same video on Bitchute, where the description clearly stated it was satire. Days before his Oceanside appearance, Dice also posed as Bergman at a Del Mar City Council meeting near San Diego and made the same Disney claim.
Disney, which has been publicly supportive of LGBTQ+ employees and guests, has not announced any advocacy of or plans for a themed transgender clinic for children in press releases or in news reports.
We rate the claim that this video shows Disney is opening pediatric transgender clinics False.
Facebook post, July 7, 2023
TikTok video, July 5, 2023
Mark Dice, YouTube video, "Disney's creepy new plans for kids," June 28, 2023
Mark Dice, YouTube channel description, accessed July 10, 2023
Mark Dice, Bitchute, "Disney executive reveals shocking next phase for company - nobody saw this coming...or did they?" June 28, 2023
KOCT, YouTube, "Oceanside City Council meeting" June 21, 2023
Oceanside City Council, "How to address the City Council at a meeting," accessed July 10, 2023
City of Del Mar, "Public comments," accessed July 10, 2023
The Walt Disney Company, Alan Bergman biography, accessed July 10, 2023
The New York Times, "What We Know About the DeSantis-Disney Dispute," May 19, 2023
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