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Meet Alan Ng, Disney’s Worst Nightmare

Film Threat scribe's 'D-Files' shows cultural rot behind the Mouse House

Siskel & Ebert were the gateway drug for a generation of film critics.

Alan Ng is no exception.

Ng, the editor-in-chief of FilmThreat.com, recalls seeing Gene Siskel squabble with Roger Ebert on his TV screen and something clicked inside him.

“Their epic battles were the best part of the show,” Ng recalled during an interview with The Hollywood in Toto Podcast.

New book tells the story of film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel

Becoming the next Siskel or Ebert wasn’t easy, of course.

“Life got in the way, I had to pay for bills and things like that,” Ng said. The 2008 housing crash forced him to reconsider his professional path.

“Rather than go back into the office, it became about, ‘Hey, let’s see if we could pursue this passion of not just film criticism but talking about films. So I just started blogging,” Ng recalled.

As fate would have it, he bumped into Film Threat founder Chris Gore at a “Futurama”-themed gaming event and Gore suggested Ng send him some writing samples.

Ng proved he could not only blog about films but run a web site, too. He became FilmThreat.com’s managing editor and, later, its Editor-in-Chief.

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Gore started Film Threat magazine along with Andre Seewood in 1985, a counter-culture paean to indie filmmaking. The magazine explored race relations and Hollywood’s casting couch long before the subjects caught fire into the mainstream, punching up despite modest resources.

“The magazine was there to take digs at the Hollywood system,” Ng said.

Plenty has changed since 1985, including the technology indie filmmakers have to bring their vision to the world.

“If you’re a filmmaker out there … you don’t necessarily want to go the Hollywood system. In fact, the tools are available to you now as a filmmaker to make your movie,” Ng said.

La La Land still matters, but he said the industry often dilutes the stories being told.

“Quite frankly, if you go into the Hollywood system, you’re not telling your stories anymore. You’re doing it the way they want.”

THE D-FILES: DISNEY IS SELF-DESTRUCTING | Film Threat's The D-Files

Film Threat began as a thumb in the eye to Tinsel Town. Today, the site and its signature podcast is knee deep in the culture wars. Film Threat champions free speech, not the Thought Police.

For Ng, it’s personal.

Ng, a Chinese-American, recalls the struggles he had in the 1980s to find work as a person of color. That’s dramatically improved over the decades, but suddenly race is front and center despite sizable progress.

“This issue of race is not one that people want to solve anymore. It feels like that there’s a system out there that wants to keep us constantly at odds with each other, which is ironically the plot behind ‘Flash Gordon,’ keeping all the tribes at war with each other,” he said. “And I feel like that’s, that seems to be what’s going on in the culture now is they have to constantly keep us at war with one another.”

It’s why he’s overseeing “The D-Files,” an investigation into the DEI trappings at Disney.

The project began by accident. Ng found Disney’s latest animated effort, “Wish,” to be the company’s least accomplished animated film to date, and he said as much on the Film Threat podcast.

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“It was almost as if they had cast aside Walt [Disney’s] textbook, and his legacy for, ironically, the movie that represents the 100 years of The Walt Disney Company,” he said. “And so I did a review on our film threat live cast on YouTube. And I just went through the trailer and just went through screen by screen.”

He pulled no punches.

“I walked away thinking, ‘Was I too harsh?’” he said. “And then we start getting emails [from current and former Disney employees] … and they began to explain what was going on at Disney animation. “

Anonymously, of course. Speaking out against DEI practices can damage a career, sometimes permanently.

“They were essentially saying everything you said was right. And that things are not going well at Disney animation … it began to open the floodgates as to the toxic environment that Disney had become,” he said.

Hear more about Disney’s creative downfall, if Film Threat suffers professional blowback for their investigations and more on The Hollywood in Toto Podcast.

6 Comments

  1. “This issue of race is not one that people want to solve anymore. It feels like that there’s a system out there that wants to keep us constantly at odds with each other…” Ya think? Ng’s been at this since 1985, but is only getting this now?

    Try this from page 118 of Booker T. Washington’s 1911 book My Larger Education:
    “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” (p. 118)

    Morgan Freeman has said it best, “You want to stop Racism? Just stop talking about it.”

    Racisim exists, but it is an issue within a person and if that person is exposed for the idiocy of their beliefs, racism dies. It is not endemic nor intrinsic to American society except in the minds and voices of those people who make a good living at it, like Obama, Jackson, BLM supporters, and the like.

    1. I cannot agree with you more. I have felt this way since the 70’s. We need to start a social media campaign exposing this to all generations.

  2. jmstettnersays you hit the bullseye right in the center. If the “Race Industry” ever went the way of the dodo Race Hustlers like Al Sharpton etc. would be on a NY City street corner selling apples for a Nickel. They would probably “Suck” at that too but, that’s about what they are good for anyway great post dead on the mark

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