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Disney CEO Bob Iger has quietly stated he’s pulling his company out of the culture wars and returning to entertainment for entertainment’s sake. Iger’s comment came during a meeting with investors on September 19 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
According to an analyst note on Wednesday, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors the company will “quiet the noise” in a culture war that has pitted social conservatives against the global media and entertainment conglomerate.
Iger’s brief statement, included in an analyst report from Needham media analyst Laura Martin, was part of an investors’ presentation on Tuesday at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, in which the CEO also announced Disney will double its investment in theme parks and cruise ships over the next decade.
The comment mirrors a statement made earlier in 2023 by Iger.
At the time, Iger was responding to an investor who said the company was becoming too concerned with social issues.
“Our primary mission needs to be to entertain … and to have a positive impact on the world,” Iger said at the time. “I’m very serious about that. It should not be agenda-driven.”
Iger’s comment came while he was detailing Disney’s planned investment of $60B in its parks over the next 10 years and three additional cruise ships by 2026. The parks and cruise line are presently Disney’s most profitable branches, if not the sole profitable ones. As Brandon Morse pointed out here in August 2023:
As previously covered by Newsmax, Disney’s stock price now sits at a 9-year low of $83.53 with its market cap having fallen a whopping 56 percent since March 22, 2022. That means it fell from $350.09 billion on that date to $196.05.
This isn’t a good look to investors, but that’s just an element of Disney’s problem. A bad stock price is just the symptom of a disease that Disney has no desire to shake.
As I last reported, Disney CEO Bob Iger said during a Q3 report that his company would begin toning down both the cost of its creations and the pace at which they’re released, but this misses the point. While both of these things are definitely something harming Disney’s bottom line, it’s not the key issue:
The real issue on Disney’s hands at this time is that it’s burned too many bridges with its would-be audience. It’s politicized itself so heavily that half the country despises the company, and on top of that, few people want to show up to a Disney flick to get preached at or bear witness to another boring CGI-fest whose stories were written by activists and not storytellers.
Disney has shown a clear disdain for Americans and their values while embracing a bubble-like mentality surrounding radical leftist social justice values. They don’t see their product as an artful creation but as a soapbox from which to finger-wag.
Disney has more than a few financial and cultural issues on its hands. Its Disney+ streaming service has lost more than $11B since its introduction in 2019. Rumors are rampant that Disney is currently looking for a buyer for ABC. Its stars are its own worst enemy, as Rachel Zegler, star of the upcoming live-action Snow White remake, first trashed the original then attempted playing the victim when blowback came her way.
The question remains whether Iger is willing to stand up to and clean house of the featherweight “creatives” at Disney currently cramming their agenda into every available crevice. Can Disney actually get back to entertaining families without belittling holders of traditional values and catering to tiny minorities making maximum social media screeching noises? Even the mighty Disney cannot continue bleeding red ink. The company has alienated large swaths of its former audience. Muttered comments will not stem this tide. Let’s see action.