Walt Disney Co., which has built its reputation on being a bastion for wholesome family entertainment, is about to release an album by Danzig--a heavy metal singer whose work is laced with satanic themes.
The album, "Blackacidevil," will be released by Disney's Hollywood Records division on Oct. 30--the day before Halloween and celebrated in some cities as "Devil's Night."
Danzig, a 20-year music industry veteran, has long denied that he is a satanist, according to his publicist. She also said that the new album contains no satanic references, but includes lots of "dark, Gothic and sexual" imagery.
Hollywood Records, which has been a financial embarrassment to Disney since its launch in 1990, wooed Danzig away from Time Warner's American Recordings for a lucrative seven-figure deal, sources said. Until now, Disney has shied away from affiliations with controversial rock and rap acts.
Several competitors questioned Disney's decision to sign such a controversial artist, particularly one who sells so few records. Sources said that no competitor even came close to Disney's bid for Danzig, whose recent recordings have not sold more than 500,000 copies each.
Disney has been branching beyond its franchise in family entertainment in recent years. It has been the target of conservative and Christian fundamentalist criticism for several movies released by Disney-owned Miramax. And some groups are boycotting the company in part because it extended same-sex benefits to its employees. Disney executives declined comment.