Going from the headlines to the heart of the matter, Members of the ‘Disney + in Basque’ initiative campaign that has been launched and has received thousands of signatures they have explained the main reasons In the Culture, Euskera and Sports Committee of the Basque Parliament. Two main axes has had appearances: audiovisual major changes in consumption in the Basque community, especially among the youngest, which effect, which its connection with language rights.
In fact, there is a growing consumption of content on platforms, and on them Basque has a very small presence. Therefore, “the platforms have been consuming for the last 5 years there is a risk that children and young people will be a lost generation for the Basque language», According to the promoters of the campaign.
Initiative how it was created and what they are doing they have also clarified. They remember that “last November, In Catalonia, the Disney + platform has been launched in Catalan when the news spread, and in the context of the Basque language festival, a group of parents and Basque speakers launched an initiative to demand that the platform be put in Basque here as well ”; “Informal, citizen, unstructured initiative.”
They put it on the Avaaz platform, which was created to guide citizens ’initiatives ‘Disney + in Basque’ application, and «in a few months, More than 5,000 adherents»Received, a reflection of« significant concern in the citizens’.
In appearance, platforms (Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video eta best) increasing weight in leisure “Regular consumption of television and film has fallen sharply, and digital platforms have swallowed up the market.” Film premieres are also becoming less and less common in cinemas as they go directly to the platforms. They cite as an example Pixar’s latest animated film, ‘Soul’, which premiered on the Christmas platform at the same time worldwide. Also in Catalan, by the way.
In the case of children, Disney + is the main platform. It combines the contents of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars subsidiaries with “more than 500 films and more than 3,000 series”.
Except for the 40 films that can be found on Filmin.es’ Basque channel, “It is close to the mere presence of Basque” on the platforms. This is a great loss for all Basques, but they are particularly serious in the case of children, and they compare it to the current situation in the 80’s. “In the 80s and 90s, ETB1 filled a very significant part of the cartoon offering (TVE1, TVE2, etb1, etb2 only, later also A3 and T5…). Drawings in Basque were an important reference for children at the time, ”they say. Today, however, “the existing television channel, the digital platform, the diversity of youtube channels, the presence of Basque has been completely diluted and has almost disappeared in some areas».
In this context, «the relationship between leisure and people’s language habits » they stressed, recalling that it is “particularly important” “in the case of children and adolescents, as positive childhood and youth experiences have a direct impact on the chosen language of adulthood”. And the children, “even if they live in Basque in school, if they live their leisure time in Spanish, if their TV, cinema, computer and mobile heroes and main references are Spanish-speaking, they will choose Spanish as the language of life as adults”.
Thus, “in a territory where there are two official languages, it is the job of the institutions to turn these formal rights into material rights in practice and reality, putting in place and guaranteeing the means to do so, otherwise it is impossible for equality between the two communities.” And in the case of the Basques “Equality of opportunity in our language” is not guaranteed, «Even less in the audiovisual offer».
Applying to a private company does not, in the opinion of the promoters, call into question its legitimacy. public policies because they should not “regulate the activities of public bodies only when the rights and equality of the people are at stake, regulate and guarantee some minorities»Because they need them. They must therefore have an impact in two areas, and although the Administrations must create their own resources (this includes the ETB3-3txulo application), they must also promote the presence of Basque in private instruments (As EJ did with Microsoft, for example). ”
As a result of all this, double request they do. On the one hand, they demand that The Walt Disney Company «to offer its productions in Basque both in Basque cinemas and on the Disney + platform, and to stop discriminating against Basques. ” The territory of the Basque language organizations, «And in particular to the Basque Government, Contact Disneythat the rights of Basque children should be guaranteed, ”they asked.
They have also raised the “desired scenario”, “A healthy scenario for the Basque language”, where “all children’s film premieres in Basque would be in Basque”, “Disney, Pixar, and the rest of the production companies”. In the case of the Disney + platform, “being the world’s leading platform for children’s content, it would be essential to at least the operation of this platform must be in Basque and all the content that has been translated into Basque so far (UP, Zipi and Zape) all premieres must be available in Basque».