Orange Bird and Anita Bryant

MinnesoTristan

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
I know Orange Bird is very popular with festivals and merchandise, but I can’t separate Orange Bird from the anti-LGBT singer who accompanied him, Anita Bryant. Does anyone else feel this way? I guess it’s similar to separating Harry Potter from JK Rowling.
 

Chuck S

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2000
I'm old, I remember when the commercials were new. That said, I like the Orange Bird. It also serves as a reminder of Gay History. Remember, Disney itself wasn't always the friendliest of places. Two men were arrested at Disneyland for dancing together at the Tomorrowland Stage in the mid-1980s. Yet look at how DIsney has changed. So, I'll take Orange Bird for the really cute character he is, but Anita is still on my naughty list.
 
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mamabunny

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
I'm old too! I'm also from Oklahoma... the state that birthed Ms. Bryant.

So please allow me to say: I'm so sorry about her. I'm not authorized to apologize on behalf of the entire state, but luckily, not near everyone here holds her (now former) hateful views about people.

Having said that, I'm like @Chuck S - I *choose* to see the joy and happiness in Orange Bird, and have pretty much shoved 'ol Anita (and her hateful history) out of my brain.

My daughter (who is 26 years old, and has grown up as a Disney kid) has no idea about the "history" that Orange Bird shares with AB; to her, Orange Bird is just funny and cute, and a happy reminder of every trip to WDW.

Anita is history (in more ways than one) - and I vote we leave here there where she belongs!
 

Gypsybear

It's all about the Villains
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Another oldie chiming in.....I grew up in FL at the time of the AB debacle....it didn't sit well with me to say the least. You see, OB was basically the mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission...in exchange for sponsoring the Enchanted Tiki Room and Sunshine Terrace. My family was heavily involved in citrus in the state. So, it was a mixed bag of feeling for me.

That said, I've also separated the mascot from that stain on humanity. Yes, I still harbor ill feelings for her. I choose to look at OB as what he was meant to be....a mascot. Nothing more. He wasn't a political figure, or anything of that nature. So why punish him. I have relayed OBs history to my hubby, who as of our first Disney trip together in 2005, has become a Disney Dork, like me.

Currently, my husband and I have made several OB shirts (embroidered and vinyl)....and I have a limited collection of park merch. I love the memories he brings to mind. And I choose to leave him that way.
 

SteveMouse

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2002
Whenever I hear the name Anita Bryant my mind goes immediately to Jimmy Buffett and his song Manana. The last bit of the song is:


I got to head this boat south pretty soon
New album's old and I'm fresh out of tunes
But I know that I'll get 'em, I know that they'll come
Through the people and places and Callwood’s Rum

So please don't say manana if you don't mean it
I have done your lines for so very long
Don't try to describe a Kiss concert if you've never seen it
Don't ever forget that you just may wind up being gonged

And I hope Anita Bryant never ever does one of my songs

 

ford91exploder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
I know Orange Bird is very popular with festivals and merchandise, but I can’t separate Orange Bird from the anti-LGBT singer who accompanied him, Anita Bryant. Does anyone else feel this way? I guess it’s similar to separating Harry Potter from JK Rowling.
I also think of that association whenever I see the Orange Bird. While I disagree with cancel culture I’m routinely amazed that Disney chooses to market a character so closely associated with a virulently anti-LBGT person who wasted no opportunity to spew hatred against those she disagreed with.

all I can say is this screwed up planet needs all the love it can produce irrespective of what form it takes. Its why I love animals if you are kind to them they reciprocate with unconditional love.
 
  • Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2000
    I also think of that association whenever I see the Orange Bird. While I disagree with cancel culture I’m routinely amazed that Disney chooses to market a character so closely associated with a virulently anti-LBGT person who wasted no opportunity to spew hatred against those she disagreed with.

    all I can say is this screwed up planet needs all the love it can produce irrespective of what form it takes. Its why I love animals if you are kind to them they reciprocate with unconditional love.
    I don't know that saying Orange Bird is closely associated with Anita Bryant is very fair, really. Yes, they were in commercials together, but Anita Bryant was just hired as a singing spokesmodel. And Orange Bird was the animated character mascot of Florida Citrus growers. That's kind of like saying Jodie Foster is closely associated with Ronald McDonald because she was in commercials with him many years ago.
     

    ford91exploder

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 30, 2009
    I don't know that saying Orange Bird is closely associated with Anita Bryant is very fair, really. Yes, they were in commercials together, but Anita Bryant was just hired as a singing spokesmodel. And Orange Bird was the animated character mascot of Florida Citrus growers. That's kind of like saying Jodie Foster is closely associated with Ronald McDonald because she was in commercials with him many years ago.
    I'm old enough to have experienced the AB+Orange Bird campaign. At the time whenever you saw the Orange bird either on TV or Print media Anita Bryant was there as well, So while she was as you say a singing spokesmodel the whole advertising campaign was based around the two of them together, Now if I was 10 years younger I would have not seen the actual ad campaign and the association would not be as strong. It's perhaps more equitable to say for people of an age Anita Bryant and Orange Bird are inseperable and offensive. But if you are younger the Orange Bird is simply a cute bird (which it is).
     

    Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2000
    I'm old enough to have experienced the AB+Orange Bird campaign. At the time whenever you saw the Orange bird either on TV or Print media Anita Bryant was there as well, So while she was as you say a singing spokesmodel the whole advertising campaign was based around the two of them together, Now if I was 10 years younger I would have not seen the actual ad campaign and the association would not be as strong. It's perhaps more equitable to say for people of an age Anita Bryant and Orange Bird are inseperable and offensive. But if you are younger the Orange Bird is simply a cute bird (which it is).
    I'm also old enough, in my mid-60s. I remember Anita singing "Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree", and remember the TV news when she took a pie to the face. I also remember when the Orange Growers dropped her like a hot potato. It isn't like Orange Bird is a living, breathing entity that purposefully decided to take the gig.
     

    ford91exploder

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 30, 2009
    I'm also old enough, in my mid-60s. I remember Anita singing "Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree", and remember the TV news when she took a pie to the face. I also remember when the Orange Growers dropped her like a hot potato. It isn't like Orange Bird is a living, breathing entity that purposefully decided to take the gig.
    No the Orange Bird is simply a cute advertising symbol, just like 'Reddy Kilowatt' was to the electric companies. I just was raised by my grandmother who was a college professor and during the summers a LGBT couple took care of me while she was teaching And seeing the effect of the anti LBGT crusaders on my summer caretakers had a big effect on me, As to me they were 'just regular people' one was in med school (my grandmothers student) and the other an antiques dealer. So I got to know the local LGBT community pretty well, And yes the rainbow flag flew and still flies at my house. I'm a weird duck socially liberal, yet fiscally conservative.
     
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