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The Walt Disney Company is currently facing immense challenges to its core businesses.
ESPN is flailing, as cordcutting, rising media rights costs and woke politics hurt its popularity. Disney’s film division has churned out financial disaster after financial disaster, with Pixar’s latest release the worst performing opening in studio history.
Their much-hyped streaming service has been a money losing trainwreck, with politicized shows, mediocre content and disappointing spinoffs.
Even the seemingly invincible parks are struggling, as rising costs, culture war battles and company over customer policies have led to plunging attendance at Walt Disney World.
Many of these problems began years ago, during CEO Bob Iger’s tenure. After Bob Chapek exacerbated them with the Parental Rights In Education Bill fiasco and cost cutting, Disney’s board responded by…bringing back Bob Iger.
And unsurprisingly, his response to taking over the sinking ship he helped create has not been to focus on mending political wounds and mollifying upset parents. Instead, it’s been to attack Ron DeSantis for noticing the company’s blatant and obvious turn to politics.
As the news around the company gets worse, Iger went on CNBC Thursday and claimed that concerns over the company’s political leanings and targeted children’s entertainment are “preposterous and inaccurate.”
That’ll fix it!
Disney Refuses To Take Responsibility For Its Own Mistakes
Iger doubled down on his claims that the company’s public declaration of its intention to interfere in the legislative process resulted in retaliation from DeSantis.
“Frankly, the company was within its right, even though I’m not sure it was handled very well … to speak up on an issue — constitutionally protected right of free speech — and to retaliate against the company in a way that would be harmful to the business was not something that we could sit back and tolerate,” Iger said according to The Hill.
“The last thing that I want for the company, is for the company … to be drawn into any culture wars,” he continued.
Except no one pulled Disney into the culture wars; they pulled themselves in.
Under Iger, the company turned heavily into woke political content, often injecting specific ideology into children’s movies.
Now he’s upset that it’s coming back to bite him and his company.
“It’s concerning to me, but I don’t really want to engage in the specifics except to say that it’s not our goal to be involved in a culture war. Our goal is to continue to tell wonderful stories and have a positive positive impact on the world,” Iger concluded.
If that wasn’t Disney’s goal, they failed in spectacular fashion.
DeSantis Highlight Culture War Issues Is Iger’s Real Frustration
It strains credulity to believe that Bob Iger doesn’t understand how Disney got to this point.
But instead of taking responsibility for their own mistakes, he’s choosing to deflect and blame others for noticing his company’s ideology.
As Bud Light’s experience shows, substantial numbers of people are fed up with receiving political lectures from corporations.
Meanwhile, Disney made a concerted effort to incorporate more political lectures into their films, television properties and parks.
Pixar put a “non-binary” character into “Elemental,” while other films focused on specifically integrating LGBTQ+ content into kids movies. Many parents prefer to address those issues with their children directly, instead of taking them to the movies.
The parks have stopped referring to “ladies and gentlemen,” using “friends” to be more “gender inclusive.” Disney’s also made confusing hires, specifically at stores targeted to little girls.
According to Iger, that’s not injecting themselves into the culture war. But Ron DeSantis noticing is.
It’s a typical, oft-repeated tool of liberal corporate executives. Complain that the politics you injected into the company are hurting the business because outside observers pointed it out.
Disney is in the weakest state its been in decades, thanks in no small part to Bob Iger’s political goals. And now he’s using friendly media outlets to shirk blame for the mess he’s helped create.