Even though the Disney Channel’s website, over the Thanksgiving
weekend, asked children to submit a post stating what they’re thankful
for, a 10-year-old girl from North Carolina was blocked from submitting
her thanks to “God.”
As Lilly Anderson was surfing the Disney
Channel website this past Sunday, which also happened to be her 10th
birthday, she came across a question posed by the website asking her to
post what she was thankful for. She felt strongly that she wanted to
give thanks to God, since she believes that God is the reason why she
has everything she owns.
When she typed and submitted her initial response of “God, my family,
my church and my friends,” Lilly received a response back from the
website’s automated moderating system stating in red letters: “Please be
When she realized that her message had not been
successfully posted to the thread, she ran to get the help of her
mother, Julie, who helped her try to figure out what the problem was. As
Julie Anderson told Fox News’ Todd Starnes,
she and her daughter rearranged the words in her response as they tried
and figure out what part of the message the system did not approve of.
mother and daughter rearranged the sentence a few times to try and get
the post to go through without having to remove God from the statement.
After a few attempts, her submission thanking God only resulted in more
responses of “Please be nice.” The Andersons then submitted a post that
did not include the word God. Without God, the post was accepted by the
Disney Channel website with no issue.
“She came and got me to let
me know that something wasn’t right. We started looking at it together
and kind of playing with it and changing words around to see what it was
that it didn’t like,” Anderson told Fox & Friends. “We found out that when we removed the word God from the post, the website would allow it.”
News obtained a statement from Disney on the matter, which stated that
the website is designed to filter out the word God because it’s often
used along with inappropriate speech for children.
many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word ‘God’ in
conjunction with profanity, in an abundance of caution, our system is
forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on our websites,” the
Disney statement reads.
Although Anderson says she understands the
purpose behind Disney filtering out the use of the word God from its
websites, she claims that it sends a terrible message about God to
“I’m not at all anti-Disney, but to shame a 10-year-old,
to tell her to ‘please be nice’ for thanking God and sharing her faith
with others is what is upsetting me as a mother,” Anderson told Starnes.
“I want her to know that she doesn’t have to be silent about her faith.
I want her to be strong and soldier on.”
Anderson further added
on Fox and Friends that she doesn’t “want children to feel like there’s
something wrong or that there’s something that they should be ashamed of
in sharing their faith with their peers.”
Lilly told Fox and
Friends that she initially felt “bad” because she was confused as to why
the website wouldn’t let her share her faith and give thanks to God,
even though God had given her so much.
“God is the reason that we have all this stuff that we have,” Lilly said.
Anderson said she and her husband have tried to prepare Lilly for the day when her faith would be disfavored.
always told her that inevitably there would come day when she would be
discriminated against for her faith, but we never thought Disney would
be the source,” she said.