Things That Matter

Here’s How Disney Rewarded A Boy Who Gave Up His Disney Trip To Help Hurricane Evacuees

Jermaine Bell might be the best human to ever reside in Jacksonville, Florida. After 6-year-old Bell had spent the last year saving money for a birthday trip to Disney, he decided to give it all away. As the catastrophic Hurricane Dorian approached the east coast of Florida, millions of Floridians were evacuated. Some went south to Miami while many others drove north. While visiting his grandmother in South Carolina, and having felt the threat of Dorian on his own Florida home, he decided he wanted to do something for evacuees fleeing the South Carolina coast.

You know that saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”? Well, that doesn’t apply to Jermaine Bell.

Jermaine Bell emptied his savings to buy hundreds of hot dogs, chips, and water, so evacuees “can enjoy the ride to the place they’re going to stay at.”

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

Bell quickly made a couple of signs and posted them at either end of his street, to let passerby know that they likely had a very cute rest stop in sight. “The people that are traveling to go to other places, I wanted them to have some food to eat, so they can enjoy the ride to the place they’re going to stay at,” Bell told his local news station. “I wanted to be generous and live to give.” 

Bell served nearly 100 evacuees whose days were certainly brightened by his selfless, generous act.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

When families would tell him that they were worried for their homes, Jermaine would begin praying that their homes would be protected. There’s no question that Bell touched those hundred evacuees lives, but he went on to touch many millions more. Once his good deed went viral, Good Morning America conducted an interview inside his own home on his birthday. He told them that he still wanted to go to Animal Kingdom some day and “see lots of lions and have a Lion King party.”

It was his birthday, and Bell forfeited his party for a good cause, with no clue that an entire Disney crew was waiting outside to make all his birthday wishes come true.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

When Disney Parks heard the news, they must have coordinated with Good Morning America to make sure America could experience the satisfaction of seeing Bell’s good deed be rewarded. A representative from Disney knocked on Bell’s door once the interview was “over,” and told him they had a surprise for him in the driveway.

Bell was definitely surprised to see Mickey Mouse in his driveway.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

His jaw remained dropped for at least twenty seconds. The whole time he was interviewing with Good Morning America, Disney staff were setting up a “magical moment” in his very own driveway. A dozen staff stood outside holding Lion King plushies and balloons to yell “Surprise!” In an adorable Disney Parks video, Bell tells us, “When the lady came out and she said come around the corner, when I saw everything, I was just super happy.”

“When Mickey came out, I was just really happy,” Bell gushed.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

Then, the big announcement: Disney Parks was giving Bell an all-expense paid trip to Disney Resort later this month as a dual birthday and thank you gift for his generosity to Hurricane Dorian evacuees. “I’m really excited, because I wanted to go to Disney for a long time,” Bell said. “Never in a million years would we have imagined anything like this from him,” his mom, Lauren Creech told Disney Parks. “Coming up with an idea to help someone else. So this really does instill in him that when you do good, good comes back to you.” 

Now, Bell wants us all to remember to “be strong and if you do good things, you will be rewarded.”

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

To top off an exciting magical moment, the whole Disney crew, including Mickey Mouse, sang him a very special “Happy Birthday” song. Of course, the rest of America is still happy-weeping to know that there are still good people coming up in this world. Hope tweeted “While a grown a** man, “leader of the free world” was playing golf. Jermaine bell. SAY HIS NAME.” Twitter is emphatically naming Bell a hero. @_SJPeace_ tweeted, “HE IS A HERO. HIS NAME IS JERMAINE BELL. KNOW HIS NAME.”

There you have it. Having compassion for victims of natural disaster is well received by Americans and American corporations.

Watch the full surprise video below!

READ: The US Promised Entry To Bahamians Without Visas Following Hurricane Dorian Then Changed Their Mind

Hillary Duff Just Dropped A Major Spoiler About The ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Reboot And I’m Pumped

Entertainment

Hillary Duff Just Dropped A Major Spoiler About The ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Reboot And I’m Pumped

Disney+

When Disney first debuted their now-iconic “Lizzie McGuire” tv series in 2001, soon-to-be life-long fans of the series instantly identified a hit. The series, which starred Hillary Duff as the titular character followed Lizzie a teenaged girl navigating the obstacles that come with being an adolescent. At its peak, the series which lasted for three years and included a theatrical film titled The Lizzie McGuire Movie, was nominated for Emmy Awards and won various Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Now, much to the delight of women in their 20s and 30s who grew up clicking through channels to find “Lizzie McGuire” marathons (instead of streaming them) are now getting to revisit the series again. This time, with Lizzie McGuire being all grown up. 

This past August, fans of Lizzie received news that Hillary Duff would be returning to her iconic role for Disney+. The rebooted series, which will be of the same name, is to debut on Disney’s new streaming platform and while we don’t have too many details yet, there are some things we’ve been able to uncover thanks to our trusty journalism skills and Instagram stalking know-how. 

So! here’s what we know.

It will be on Disney+ and can be added to a bundle.

If you don’t want another app on your streaming device, you don’t have to sign up with Disney+ directly. Instead, you can get the Disney+ bundle with Hulu or ESPN+ included for $13.

We’re not sure who is definitely going to be in the series but Lizzie’s old BFF will for sure be there! 

A Lizzie McGuire reboot would be nothing without Hillary Duff so fans can be assured she’s definitely taking on the role of Lizzie. Hillary announced the reboot back in August saying, “the good news is, just like me and everybody who loved Lizzie and has grown up with her, Lizzie’s also grown up. She’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget, which is super exciting. She has her dream job. She has kind of the perfect life right now.”  On Instagram, Duff revealed that production for the series is already underway.  “SURPRISE!!! I’ve been trying to contain this excitement for a loooong time while this has been in the works!” she wrote. “I am beyond excited to be home again, back with my girl ♥️…and into her 30’s,” she wrote in a post. 

Adam Lamberg, AKA Lizzie’s best friend Gordo, is set to return. In an statement for Entertainment Weekly, Duff explained that “Gordo was an essential piece of the puzzle to what made the original Lizzie McGuire so authentic and beloved. I couldn’t imagine the series without him. I can’t wait for fans to see what he’s up to 15 years later and how he fits into Lizzie’s adult world.”

The series takes place when Lizzie is on the brink of turning 30.

The Lizzie McGuire reboot is set to pick up with Lizzie living in NYC and looking at turning 30. Working as an apprentice to an interior designer and engaged to a chef with his own restaurant, Lizzie appears to have her life pretty together. And yet, we can’t help but think that in true Lizzie fashion she’s still a bit clumsy and spazzing out when confronted about whether or not to ask for a bra. This feels particularly true considering that Duff has explained that the series won’t actually be set in NYC.

 “She’s not going to stay in Brooklyn too long, actually,” Duff explained in an interview. “That’s where she’s been, but she’ll be coming back to Los Angeles. She’s forced out of New York. She’s like, ‘I can’t be here anymore.’” 

Lizzie’s in love again and it’s not with Ethan Craft.

According to reports, the new series sees Lizzie with a boyfriend restaurateur who owns a restaurant in SoHo which means he’s successful as hell. But it sounds like the relationship isn’t all that perfect because it eventually ends. “You know what, I don’t know if I was as devastated by that,” Duff told Vulture in an interview.  “I feel like them not being together is what was so good…. It’s that one person that you’re like, ‘Was he the one? Is it ever going to be?’ You’re always kind of wondering. We wanted it to hurt everyone a little bit, and it’ll continue to hurt.” 

Speaking about Lamber being in the series, Duff said  “I really hope he’s going to be involved… We’ve been planning out the season and coming up with what everything looks like, and it’s so important for him to be there for part of it.

Earlier this month in interview with E!, Duff also hinted that Lizzie might even cross paths with her old middle school crush. “He is hot. He’s very hot,” Duff said of Snyder.

 “I’m pretty sure there’s going to be, there’s going to be a thing. ‘Why now?’ I think it’s the right time to set back in and have her go along with you in your 30s and all the fun times, and all of the big monumental moments, and all of the challenges that you’re faced with,” Duff went onto explain to People. “I just thought that there was an opportunity there for her to be grown-up and for her to be there for women again.”

Why Disney’s CEO Says That Disney’s Forgotten Movie “Song of the South” Wouldn’t “Sit Right” With Disney+ Viewers

Entertainment

Why Disney’s CEO Says That Disney’s Forgotten Movie “Song of the South” Wouldn’t “Sit Right” With Disney+ Viewers

When you think of “Disney”, chances are, your mind doesn’t automatically wander to a racist movie of yore that that has been buried due to an extensive campaign of damage control. 

But believe it or not, the House of Mouse is guilty of just that. We all know by now that on November 12th, Disney launched its much-anticipated streaming service Disney+, making a library of over 7,000 television episodes and 500 films available to its subscribers. 

And while some customers were excited about re-watching old classics like “Smart House” and “The Cheetah Girls”, others were busy frantically searching the archives for a title that is old, but not forgotten: “Song of the South”. 

Released in 1946, “Song of the South” was originally green-lit with the goal of capitalizing on the popularity of post-Civil War blockbusters like 1939’s “Gone With the Wind”. 

Song of the South is possibly the most problematic movie Disney has ever produced.

“Song of the South” revolves around the character of Johnny, a seven-year-old boy living in the Reconstruction-era South (the 1860s and 1870s). While visiting his grandmother’s plantation during a moment of familial strife, Johnny befriends a former slave named Uncle Remus who now works on the plantation. 

Seeing Johnny’s obvious unhappiness, Uncle Remus tries to cheer Johnny up by recounting fables starring Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear–anthropomorphic animals that learn the lessons of life the hard way. Through Uncle Remus, Johnny learns how to deal with the difficulties of life from a more mature perspective. 

And while on its surface, the movie seems to be a straight-forward coming-of-age story combined with subtle messages of racial harmony, the thrust of the film is much more insidious than that.

The relationship between Uncle Remus and his white employers is a problematic picture of a subservient, docile old black man who is happy to live and work on the plantation in which he was formerly enslaved. 

Before singing the legendary ear-worm “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”, Remus waxes nostalgic about the unnamed good ol’ days when “every day was mighty satisfactual”. He then adds: “If you’ll excuse me for saying so, ’twas better all around”. It doesn’t take a genius to deduce that the moment in history Uncle Remus is referring to is when slavery was still a part of the American way of life.

Uncle Remus’s short soliloquy before the movie’s big number acts as sort of a thesis statement for the movie. As Scott Tobias from The Guardian astutely observed, the film suggest that “things are better for everyone” when black people “accept their subservience and benefit from the largesse of white plantation owners, even when they’re ostensibly free to leave at any time.” 

Or, in other words, according to Tobias: “The rotten heart of Song of the South is the implication that such carefree days were easier to come by in the idealized world of the pre-civil war south”.

Disney Studios, aware of how controversial the film is, has made it publicly known that they do not plan on making “Song of the South” available for streaming on Disney+ now, or ever.

Back in 2011, when faced with the question of whether Disney would consider re-releasing “Song of the South”, Disney CEO Bob Iger made his position very clear, saying that the movie “wouldn’t necessarily sit right or feel right to a number of people today”. 

“Even though we’ve considered from time to time bringing [Song of the South] back, I didn’t think it was the right thing for the company to do,” he said. “[We] just felt that it wouldn’t be in the best interest of our shareholders to bring it back, even though there would be some financial gain. Sometimes you make sacrifices on the financial side to do what you believe is right and that’s an example of that”.

But some people are wondering if Song of the South’s omission on the streaming platform is just a way for the media conglomerate to avoid taking responsibility for its past sins. 

Obviously, Twitter users have pretty strong opinions about Disney’s handling of the “Song of the South” controversy.

It’s surprising how starkly opinions differ on whether “Song of the South” should be available to the public.

Some people were happy that Disney decided to omit the title from their library:

Some people believe that the release of the movie would do more harm than good.

Others believe that Disney is shirking responsibility for leaving the movie off of Disney+.

 There is the argument that Disney is trying to re-write their past by hiding the movie.

Of course, others can’t help but make jokes about the entire debacle:

At this point, we wouldn’t put it past Disney to do just this in order to make an extra buck.