When Disney moved to market the Mounties
Fed up with misuse, the Mounties let Disney steer use of their image
"It is an image recognized all around the world — the scarlet uniform and Stetson hat of the Canadian Mountie," Peter Mansbridge explained to Prime Time News viewers on the evening of June 27, 1995.
"That image is going to be marketed by a U.S. company — the Disney Company."
It was the misuse of the Mounties' image, apparently, that led the police force to make a move to restrict the use of that image. (Two examples shown in the report from CBC included Mountie-themed characters appearing in a wrestling match and in a pornographic film.)
As Staff Sgt. Ken MacLean, an RCMP Public Affairs spokesman, explained: "We would like to see good-quality Canadian merchandise with a proper reflection of our uniform and our image."
So, they went to Disney, signing a multi-year deal, which CBC reported "was not offered to any Canadian companies."
Cue the controversy.
Makers of Mountie memorabilia on this side of the border weren't pleased to be left out of the mix — and they also weren't happy that a non-Canadian company ended up with control of the iconic Mountie image.
The following year, CBC News was following up on the Disney deal, specifically that the RCMP was being criticized for not doing enough to crack down on those using the Mountie image outside of the Disney-guided arrangement.
In the end, the Mounties' deal with Disney wasn't renewed.