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New Disney CEO Signals a Return to Neutrality in the Culture War

New Disney CEO Signals a Return to Neutrality in the Culture War

The criticism towards Disney resurfaced over the weekend when its new movie Strange World bombed, adding more financial troubles for the Mouse.

New Disney CEO Bob Iger returned to his post two weeks ago but told employees at a town hall he wants the company to return to neutral in the culture war:

IGER: “You know, I think there’s a misperception here about what politics is. And I think that some of the subjects that have proven to be controversial, as it relates to Disney have been branded political, and I don’t necessarily believe they are. I don’t think when you’re telling stories and attempting to be a good citizen of the world, that that’s political, just not how I view it. Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not. It can be distracting, and it can have a negative impact on the company. And to the extent that I can work to kind of quiet things down, I’m going to do that. But I think it’s — it’s important to put in perspective what some of these subjects are and not just simply brand them political.”

The board of directors ousted former CEO Bob Chepek after a disastrous year that saw him taking on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and losing and literally pushing the “gay agenda.”

Iger admitted it was all a mistake. He wants Disney to listen to its consumers and cast members.

Christopher Rufo obtained a video of the town hall:

In response to an audience question about the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, Iger said the company would still promote “inclusion,” but signaled that he would adopt a different posture than his processor and suggested that the company will “listen to [its] audience” and “have respect for the people that [it’s] serving.”

Iger also suggested that the company made a mistake in its fight against Governor DeSantis, which resulted in the state legislature stripping Disney of its special administrative status. “I was sorry to see us dragged into that battle,” he said. “The State of Florida has been important to us for a long time. And we have been very important to the State of Florida. That is something I’m extremely mindful of and will articulate if I get the chance.”

Finally, in response to the suggestion that “many cast members had wished that Disney stayed out of politics,” Iger expressed regret. “Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not,” he said. “It can be distracting, and it can have a negative impact on the company. And to the extent that I can work to kind of quiet things down, I’m going to do that.”

The criticism towards Disney resurfaced over the weekend when its new movie Strange World bombed, adding more financial troubles for the Mouse.

It’s one of the most ultra-woke productions in recent times:

“Strange World,” which features a gay teen romance involving the main character, an environmental message and no princesses, came in well below projections, grossing $11.9 million over the three-day weekend and $18.6 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday.

Given the film’s reported $180 million budget, the Hollywood press ripped “Strange World” as not just a dud but a “historic bomb,” as The Wrap put it. Variety projected that the flick could lose as much as $100 million.

The left blames the right’s supposed homophobia and hatred of gays. But Christian Toto wrote the woke storyline is just one of many problems with the film:

“I think you can point to several factors for ‘Strange World’s’ disastrous opening. Let’s start with the title, which is utterly bland. It’s an original story, something that often doesn’t click with audiences weaned on sequels, prequels and reboots,” Mr. Toto said in an email.

“The film’s gay storyline got plenty of online attention, and some parents are exhausted by the messaging in modern Disney fare. It’s always hard to pinpoint how much of a factor this proves to be, but it clearly didn’t help at the box office,” he said.

Strange World might find new life when it hits Disney+.

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Comments

UnCivilServant | November 30, 2022 at 9:06 am

I’ll believe it when they fire their diversity department, their C-Suite and have a raft of layoffs thorugh HR and middle management.

    Diversity [dogma] (e.g. racism), Inequity, and … is Exclusion (DIE) doctrine is a leftist (i.e. authoritarian) woke (sic) of art under the Pro-Choice ethical religion. Take a knee, beg, “donate”.

    Iger: “Yeah, the majority of workers belong to the diversity department. But I’m gonna turn it around and go the other way.”

    Reporter: “How are you going to turn it around?”

    Iger: “I’m gonna write a memo and then go cash my Christmas bonus.”

    Even if they start putting out super pro American movies, the Disney name is forever tied to pedophelia.

This looks like a big win for DeSantis.

But we’ll really know when we see the movies Disney puts out a few years from now.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to clintack. | November 30, 2022 at 11:59 am

    It is too late; I don’t believe Disney any more than I believe a high percentage of teachers will stop pushing CRT. Let Disney and our public schools both implode, and flush them into a cesspool.

    Olinser in reply to clintack. | November 30, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    Its not a win at all. It’s just Iger mouthing buzz words so articles like this get written, knowing that most of them won’t actually watch the whole interview.

    He doubled and tripled down on his woke crap, talked about being a ‘good citizen of the world’, and basically said that he isn’t actually modifying a single core value, and that he doesn’t think what they’re doing is political.

    He’s full throttle on the woke train.

CEO Bob Ige STARTED the gay crap. He actually lambasted the out going CEO for not doing enough gay products.

CEO Bob Chepek Was about to fire the Diversity group at Disney and they got wind and begged bob to
Come back and save them

What Chutzpah.

    chrisboltssr in reply to gonzotx. | November 30, 2022 at 9:26 am

    It’s straight up chutzpah, but that is nothing out of the ordinary for these immoral people.

    PreviousBob may have been wanting to fire the diversity group at Disney for not going woke hard enough. Remember, Disney under CurrentBob still had respect for diversity on *all* sides while PreviousBob was hammering the left side like crazy. The Disney parks have had ‘Gay week’ the first week in June in Florida and some events in California in September for ages, so that’s not a new thing. PreviousBob’s concentration on ten percent of the spending populace with total disdain for the other ninety percent was just fiscally insane, as the current movie numbers show.

      henrybowman in reply to georgfelis. | November 30, 2022 at 8:16 pm

      I’m afraid I can’t interpret this at all due to the humongous ambiguity between who you are referring to as current or previous, in the midst of a changeover.

      Ten percent? More like one or two.
      And what Iger said was clear as mud; no more than damage control.

    Squires in reply to gonzotx. | November 30, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Gonzo is correct:

    https://youtu.be/skdYG_N8J7c

    Olinser in reply to gonzotx. | November 30, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    While I completely agree that Iger was the root of all this woke crap, I’m not sure I believe that’s why Chapek got fired. There was a lot of BS about, ‘oh well Chapek really WANTS to get rid of the woke, but he just CAN’T!’ Chapek never fired a single wokester as CEO, and I simply do not believe that he was planning to.

    I have seen there’s been a lot of rumors flying around that Disney just lost BILLIONS in the crypto FTX scam, and that Chapek is the fall guy for it, that’s why he was fired so abruptly after a mere 6 months since his contract was renewed.

I’m not so sure about this. FrontPageMag had an essay by Daniel Greenfield in which Iger was quoted as essentially saying that under his stewardship, Disney isn’t going to modify its “core values” in order to attempt to “please everyone.” That sounds like stubborn defiance and doubling down on obnoxious Leftist sermonizing and propagandizing, not moderation.

https://www.frontpagemag.com/disney-ceo-warns-wokeness-will-go-on-even-if-people-arent-happy/

I’ve said before — despite narcissistic, self-aggrandizing CEO’s virtue-signaling theatrics, publicly-traded companies are still bottom-line businesses for whom revenue and margins rule over all else. When Leftist/”woke” agitprop and antics begin negatively impacting a company’s revenue and margins, that’s when you’ll see moderation of this obnoxious Leftist posturing and agenda-pushing.

Which is why every conservative in the U.S. has an obligation to avoid patronizing companies that are actively promoting the Leftist agenda, while denigrating and undermining conservatives and conservative policies. This includes Apple, Amazon, Disney and Paramount/CBS, as among the most obnoxious and worst offenders. Put your money where your beliefs are. I stopped patronizing Amazon, years ago, and haven’t looked back.

Future historians will look back and wonder with awe how such a minority of a minority of a minority of a minority of a group of individuals with a perverted lifestyle had come to have such a stranglehold on the majority, 99% of which is absolutely straight as a board and practice traditional values, even if they’re not Christian.

People always say you have to worry about tyrannies of the majority. I say the tyrannies you must always worry about are tyrannies of the minority. Tyrannies of the minority are the ones who will always drive you to ruin.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to chrisboltssr. | November 30, 2022 at 11:13 am

    I play for the other team as most here know. Yet, I want no part of all this pushing and promoting. I know I’m an outsider and accept that. Do me no harm and I’m fine.

      That was the original deal, but your team decided that wasn’t enough. I know you don’t want a part of that, but I’m afraid when the blowback comes you won’t be spared. Don’t worry, I’m black and I’m expecting that when the racial blowback comes against blacks I won’t be spared myself.

        Dimsdale in reply to chrisboltssr. | November 30, 2022 at 1:34 pm

        Conservatives aren’t as prone to cast off the people that don’t conform or that they can’t make use of.

        I’m not, anyway!

        I agree though; the pendulum has swung too far to the left, and there will be consequences. That’s the reason compromise and working together are useful in remediating differences, but the left has thrown that away with their uncompromising, Borg-like attitude: assimilate or die.

      It’s the easily identifiable activists we should worry about. Old school LGB who are mainstream minus sexual orientation are not a problem nor a threat.

      The shrieking banshee male or female or ‘otherwise’ with purple/green hair, a nose ring, spacers in their ear lobes ranting about isms and ists are the ones to worry about.

        Dimsdale in reply to CommoChief. | November 30, 2022 at 1:35 pm

        Pronouns and breaking the English language will be the final straw….

          gonzotx in reply to Dimsdale. | November 30, 2022 at 3:52 pm

          I doubt it
          What English language?

          Law 42 goes away 12/21 and we already have 5 extra million illegals in the country for about 30+ million illegals

          Get ready for the end of English amd the end of America

          We are screwed. Everywhere I go in Austin Tx and surrounding area it’s all Hispanics mostly illegals
          And they are not stopping
          Till they own this country

      BierceAmbrose in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | November 30, 2022 at 3:23 pm

      Those kinda teams aren’t the teams that matter. I’m so old, I remember when that was the point.

    henrybowman in reply to chrisboltssr. | November 30, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    “Future historians will look back and wonder with awe how such a minority of a minority of a minority of a minority of a group of individuals with a perverted lifestyle had come to have such a stranglehold on the majority”

    “My Weimar has a first name…”

As shown by “Strange Worlds”, woke will go broke.

Not every rainbow has a pot of gold? The rainbow is a symbol of colorful and violent deconstruction.

Trans- (i.e. state or process of divergence). Gender (i.e. sex-correlated attributes). Transgender spectrum: the queerest of the queer. The lamest of the lame… wicked solutions and dysfunctional life are nonviable outside of a limited, closed frame.

Believe none of it ever. A leftist is just that and will not be deterred. He will only be more clever about doing what he wants. Leftists intend to win which they have pretty well done.

I don’t see the same concessions in those comments that the article purports.

I see more signaling for backroom and clandestine politics than anything else.

Meet the new Bob, same as the old Bob.

Backing-off the public side of their woke Leftism isn’t the same thing as capitulating, apologizing, and going back to the way things used to be.

They can never be trusted again.

The only exception is one we’ll never see. That would include a full apology, describing what they did and why it was wrong, a pledge to support only wholesome material going forward, and the immediate removal of all previously made woke content from all platforms including streaming and hard-copy sales — permanently. Safe to say that’s never going to happen, so vote accordingly with your dollars.

Sorry, too late. Anything Disney has already been removed from my library, computer, house, and travel plans.
No way I would ever take grandchildren to Disney. Disney can ESAD.

If “Strange World” joins “Song Of The South” in the vault never to be seen again I might believe them.
It will not. It will continue to be shown on Disney+, ABC Hulu etc. etc.
They don’t care that it bombed. The movie is going to be there all the time. To avoid it you will have to not subscribe to Disney+. For me that is no problem. For others they won’t notice and that is the plan.

    Box office bombs *can* be good movies that a smart studio can make money from. Case in point: The Emperor’s New Groove, which cost a *hundred* million dollars due to multiple rewrites, actor swaps, complete rebuilds, and about everything that could go wrong with an animated feature including an opening of ten mil. I mean it’s about a llama, so who wanted to see it? Rather than toss it into the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, the studio encouraged a worldwide release, nursed it through DVD release, made a rather innovative Saturday morning cartoon based on it, and other careful money-milking approaches to it. Because it was *good* and entertaining. “Kronk! Pull the lever!”

    Strange World is going into the bargain bin because the only way it gets tickets sold is to guilt the buying public into buying them. It’s not entertaining.

“Return to neutrality?”

BS, its has been a long, long time (decades) since Disney has been ‘neutral’ in the culture wars.

What this signals is an end to full-frontal assault tactics and a return to guerilla warfare tactics on Disney’s part.

They’re hoping to lull us back into a sense of complacency.

No, he didn’t. He REALLY didn’t, and the fact that anybody could possibly believe that just boggles my mind.

He mouthed some buzz words that he thinks the normies want to hear, and then did the classic far leftist line of, ‘well we won’t be political, BUT I DON’T CONSIDER WHAT WE ARE DOING TO BE POLITICAL’.

This is the classic liberal crap of declaring some far leftist propaganda and when you call them out they scream WHY ARE YOU BRINGING POLITICS INTO IT!??!?

And of course he raised another MAJOR red flag when he started talking about being ‘a good citizen of the world’.

To him, cramming the radical LGTBQSDFUOERWTLFD+++++ into every kid’s movie imaginable isn’t ‘politcial’. YOU OBJECTING TO IT IS POLITICAL. He’s ‘not involved’ in politics by spewing his agenda and propaganda, its just those hateful evil right wingers that are trying to drag him into it!

I literally can’t believe that anybody would be fooled by this crap at this point.

Translation: “After conducting an experiment of getting openly involved in the culture war by bullying Chapek into getting this company into politics, and those woke filled films I greenlit before retiring failed, I think it’s time to take a step back and realize we are MUCH more effective by being covert culture warriors.”

I don’t believe it for a second

Bullshit. Iger is the one who put in place all the woke crap.

“He wants Disney to listen to its consumers and cast members.”

Well, there’s a Pushme-Pullyu goal. All the agitation was the fault of the loudest cast members. So when the next “gay agenda” phonecall gets leaked, what will change on your end as to your response? Nothing.

“Strange World,” which features a gay teen romance involving the main character, an environmental message and no princesses,”

Oh, I bet there are princesses. To quote one bio of our Man of The Week, “Samsonite” Brinton:

Once, while [Sam was] walking around Disney World in 6 inch stilettos with a boyfriend, a young gay boy saw Sam with the boyfriend and started crying. He told his mother, ‘”t’s true, Mom. We can be our own princess here.”