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Thousand Oaks

Conejo Valley Parents Roar at Disney Headquarters

In what may have been the Happiest Protest on Earth, more than 500 parents and protesters — including a strong contingent from the Conejo Valley — gathered in front of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank on Wednesday, April 4, to speak loudly against what they say is the company’s agenda to sexualize young children and groom them into deviant lifestyles and relationships.

People from many parts of Southern California began arriving at Disney headquarters’ front gate in a continuous stream before 5 p.m. Many carried signs, some bullhorns, and some stood and observed departing Disney employees, who sat in their cars and looked straight ahead until the light turned green and they could pull away. Eventually, guards in the Disney complex shut the front gate and redirected employees in another direction.

Cody and Hayley Herrick, from Thousand Oaks, came with their three kids, one in a stroller and two holding handmade signs which together read, “Let Kids Be Kids.”

“We love Disney movies. We grew up watching them,” Cody said. “Then it got to this point where they’re pushing this agenda, and they won’t stop. We had Disney Plus, and we decided to cancel it and come out here and support our side of the message and tell them we don’t like what they’re doing.”

Scott and Frances Marshall were from Lomita, a city in greater Los Angeles. Frances held a sign that read, “Boycott Disney, Support Parental Rights.”

“I’m here for my children and my grandkids,” Frances said. “Our rights are being taken away as parents.”

Scott quoted a New Testament passage that came to mind.

“‘Do not love the world or the things of this world,’” he said. “A lot of times, believers have been distracted by entertainment. Now we’re seeing [entertainment companies] being aggressive on how they influence our kids. … I think we’re at a crossroads. It’s sad that Disney feels they can’t be neutral. They put themselves in a real bad situation because I don’t think they’re going to win either way. But God calls us to stand up for righteousness and holiness, and that’s what we’re going to do as believers.”

Nearby, Mary Corran, 29, crossed busy Alameda Ave. carrying a handmade sign reading, “If this is where the company is headed, count me out! Dis-Needs to stop” — which was later pointed out by protest leader Sean Feucht from the stage. Corran is single and childless but drove more than three hours from downtown San Diego to participate.

“No effort is too great to stand for our kids,” she said as protesters continued to arrive. “California — people just write it off — but I think God can use the hardest and darkest places to show off his glory. That’s why I’m honored to be in California and really encouraged by everyone else here.”

Feucht is a former Bethel Church worship leader and candidate for Congress who created a national movement called Let Us Worship during 2020 and 2021. He frequently leads worship and speaks at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park.

Feucht’s team — known as Hold the Line when they tackle cultural issues directly — says they didn’t pick a fight with Disney — Disney did by strongly opposing legislation aimed at keeping sexuality out of early grade-school classrooms in Florida. Hold the Line decided to have pop-up protests in front of the once-beloved media company’s headquarters and, a week later, in front of the Anaheim theme park. Hold the Line was contacted by the Burbank Police Department in advance to coordinate efforts and ensure people’s safety, especially from traffic.

Leading a rally from the back of a flatbed truck was a first for the ministry, which typically employs a fixed stage. When the truck holding sound equipment rolled up to the curb near Disney Studio’s front gate, the scene quickly transformed into a rally and revival meeting lasting more than an hour. Resembling Feucht’s Let Us Worship concerts, the Hold the Line event — aimed at civic engagement and cultural confrontation — began with musical worship and featured a number of speakers who addressed the crowd for a few minutes each. Far overhead, a helicopter — possibly belonging to a news station — circled constantly.

Worship began, punctuated by chants of “Boycott Disney!” and “No more groomers!” led by Feucht on a bullhorn. Pastor Rob McCoy, the pastor of GodSpeak Calvary Chapel church in Newbury Park, told the crowd, “They are not entertaining our children; they are indoctrinating them. What was once a mainstay in American culture has been taken over by the woke culture, and now if they want to mess with our kids — you’ve gone too far. We’re here today to proclaim that our children are off-limits.”

Worshiping at the Gates: Hundreds crowded near the front gates of Walt Disney Studios in April in a strong show of protest against the once-beloved company’s stance on social issues and children.

Feucht then welcomed everyone.

“We’re going to sing a little bit. We’re going to pray a little bit. We’re going to scream a little bit,” he said. “You’re going to hear from employees of Disney, ex-employees of Disney, people that have gotten saved and free from the LGBT community. It’s going to be a great night for America. And what you’re seeing right now is going to happen in Orlando, Florida, next week, and it’s going to keep happening. We’re going to take this to Anaheim. We’re going to take this everywhere that Disney has a footprint until things change. … We’re having church in front of Walt Disney headquarters!”

The band and worshipers opened with Bethel Music’s “Raise a Hallelujah,” a thumping call to action. As the music continued, Feucht exhorted people: “Today, our battle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s not against woke corporations. It’s against powers and principalities that want to pervert our children. … If parents in America would realize the power and the authority that they have, they could shift the economy of this place in one day.”

On Alameda Ave., thousands of commuters streamed by, and drivers of all races honked in support of the protesters who lofted their signs in the late afternoon sunlight. Jay Koopman, Sean Feucht’s co-leader of Let Us Worship and Hold the Line, lives in Orange County, home of Disneyland, and spoke about being an annual pass holder and going to the park frequently with his family and church groups.

“But we can’t just stand out here and sing,” he told the gathering. “We’ve got to take action, so I am commissioning and asking all of you to not renew your Disneyland account. We will not go back. They will not get our money. They will not get our time. We will not support something that’s going to come against our children. There is nobody in hell that will ever try to sexualize my children, your children. Stand with me! I want you to end your account. I want you to write emails. I want you to cancel Disney in the name of Jesus.”

Next, a longtime Disneyland cast member, whose name was not given from the stage, addressed the people.

“Thank you for being here. Thank you for standing up,” she said. “This message is a message of boldness. This is a message of courage. Being here in California in front of Walt Disney Company takes courage. I’m a cast member here for Disneyland. I’ve been with them for quite a long time, and it’s gotten very political, and it’s gotten very hard to be who you are. It’s gotten very hard to be someone who has conservative values … Someone who believes that it’s okay to stand up for righteousness. … My message today is for those, like me, who are cast members, who are in the middle of that harvest field because that’s what that place is. I’ve worked for Disney since 2001, and it has always been a harvest field, and that field is ripe for harvest.”

She concluded, “My encouragement to you, to any Disney cast members that are afraid to be bold, that are afraid to be courageous: stand up. It’s okay. You’re not alone. You are a lion among sheep. So get up there, roar and be strong.”

Feucht underlined her point.

“There is an entire army of people in Disney that love God, that love America, that don’t want this woke crap. You’ve got to understand that,” he said. “God has people hidden in this place. So we’re going to believe. There are open letters circulating around Disney with people that said, ‘We’ve had enough,’ and I’m believing there’s going to be so much pressure that they’re going to change their mind. They’re going to feel it in their earnings report, and any politician that stands behind this nonsense is going to feel it in November at the ballot box.”

He exhorted listeners to “Pray for Disney to have a change of heart,” “Remember your God-given role as a parent to instruct your children in the ways of the Lord,” and “Refuse to accept the idea that corporations have the right to push woke politics on our children.”

“I think we’re going to do this in Orlando. We’re going to do this in Anaheim. We’re going to do this until things change,” he promised.

After the event, Koopman told Charisma the team hopes for a good outcome to the present, pitched conflict with what they view as an increasingly errant corporation.

“The best thing that could happen is Disney hears our prayer and our heart to protect our kids and let them be innocent,” Koopman said. “Let kids be kids. Don’t allow any of this sexualization stuff. Our heart is that Disney will hear the hearts of American people, and I think the majority of the American people agree with us that Disney should stay pure and innocent for children.”

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