Commentary: Bob Iger, DEI, and Wokism Broke Disney’s Trust with America

Bob Iger Disney

There is something of a subculture on YouTube of armchair analysts and commentators, WDW Pro, Valliant Renegade, and ClownfishTV, to name just three (beyond traditional financial websites like CNBC and Seeking Alpha), who track every cultural, corporate, programming, and financial move of The Walt Disney Company, previously one of America’s most iconic and trusted companies. Note: I used the past tense in describing The Walt Disney Company. It is no longer one of America’s most trusted brands, and it’s about to lose its iconic status.

How did this happen?

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Commentary: At This Point, Disney Deserves to Die

That Disney has been dying a slow death for a long time should be clear to anyone even remotely familiar with the entertainment industry. Last summer, the company lost $900 million at the box office, and its streaming platform, Disney+, lost 1.3 million subscribers in just the last quarter of 2023.

Numbers like these should be easy red flags to stockholders and investors — as should the growing amount of blowback condemning woke content in TV shows and blockbuster films.

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Texas AG Launches Fraud Investigation into Media Matters

On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas) announced that the state would be launching a fraud probe into the far-left publication Media Matters.

As reported by the Daily Caller, the probe comes after Media Matters released a report on Thursday accusing the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, of putting anti-Semitic content next to advertisements. Although subsequent studies have proven this to be mostly false, multiple major corporations, including Apple, Disney, and IBM, have announced their plans to boycott advertising on the site.

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Corporate America Slowly Backs Away from ‘Diversity’ Language in Wake of Supreme Court Decision

American businesses have been moving away from using diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) language in the workplace after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in June, according to Bloomberg Law.

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Florida Judge Declines to Toss Lawsuit Challenging Disney’s Last-Minute Effort to Maintain Self-Governing Status

A Florida state judge declined to toss a lawsuit challenging Disney’s last-minute effort to skirt the state legislature and maintain its self-governing status through an agreement it made with the prior board overseeing Walt Disney World.

Disney entered into agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), which had authority over the park, on Feb. 8, 2023 — just days before the state legislature approved a bill reforming RCID’s structure to strip Disney’s self-governing status. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District sued May 1 over the agreement, which would allow Disney to maintain control, calling it a “backroom deal” that is “not even worth the paper” it is printed on.

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Virginia Hair Salon Fires Christian Stylist for ‘Homophobic’ Post Criticizing Disney Plus on Facebook

A Virginia hair salon fired a Christian stylist over a Facebook post criticizing the streaming movie service Disney+.

“My Facebook is my page,” Sidney York, the fired stylist, told The Daily Signal in an interview Wednesday. “I understand it’s a touchy subject and people may be offended over it, but it had nothing to do with my job.”

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Obama-Appointed Federal Judge Who Has Criticized DeSantis Recuses Himself from Disney Case

Ron DeSantis

A federal judge known for ruling against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recused himself Thursday from Disney’s lawsuit against the governor, according to a court filing.

Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida Mark Walker, an Obama appointee, recused himself after discovering “a relative within the third degree of relationship” owns 30 shares in The Walt Disney Company, per the a court filing. Walker blocked DeSantis’ “Stop W.O.K.E. Act”  in November, calling it “positively dystopian,” and struck down parts of his election law as unconstitutional in March 2022, citing the state’s “horrendous history of racial discrimination in voting,” according to Politico.

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Analysis: Companies That Ignore First Amendment Rights

A new database shows that some of Americans’ favorite companies—such as Airbnb, Amazon, and Disney—disregard religious freedom and free speech. 

Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization devoted to protecting religious freedom and other First Amendment rights, joined with Inspire Insight, an investment tool that provides data on the religious values of companies, to produce the second annual Business Index ranking companies by Viewpoint Diversity Score. 

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Republicans Ripping DeSantis for Feuding with Disney Took Company Executives’ Campaign Cash

Prominent Republicans who have criticized Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ actions against The Walt Disney Company have received significant donations from the media giant’s executives, according to campaign finance records published by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

DeSantis and Disney have been at odds since early 2022, when the Florida legislature passed a law signed by DeSantis stripping Disney of municipal powers within its special district after Disney criticized Florida’s Parental Rights In Education Law. Recently, several top Republicans have come out opposing the governor’s feud with the company, arguing that it’s bad for business, at a time when DeSantis is widely expected to run for president in 2024; however, many of these Republicans raked in campaign contributions from Disney executives.

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Disney Sues DeSantis over Florida GOP Governor’s Attempt to Limit Its Control of Theme Park

Disney filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis alleging he and other state Republican lawmakers having a “targeted campaign of government retaliation,” over the so-called 2020 “Don’t Say Gay” bill. 

Disney World had self-governing privileges that DeSantis threatened to revoke after the company snubbed him last year when he signed a law in 2022 that his opponents labeled the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” 

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DeSantis Coming to Wisconsin as Trump Pounds the GOP’s No. 2 Presidential Contender

As he moves closer to a presidential campaign announcement, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has scheduled a trip to the Badger State next month. 

DeSantis, who is expected to officially launch his run for the White House after the Florida legislative session ends in early May, will speak at the Republican Party of Marathon County Lincoln Day Dinner on May 6.

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Commentary: Disney Has It All

Gone are the days when parents could turn on the Disney Channel or a Disney movie and walk away. A new 50-minute documentary called Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom exposes the radical agenda pushed by Disney to indoctrinate America’s children. “Once upon a time, if it was a Disney movie, you knew it was going to be safe for children,” Media Research Center founder and President L. Brent Bozell III states at the beginning of this revealing documentary.

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Disney CEO Pledges to Double Down on LGBT ‘Storytelling’ in Animated Kids’ Movies

Bob Iger, the newly appointed CEO of Disney, pledged to double down on LGBT “storytelling” in the company’s animated kids’ movies during a Monday town hall with employees, according to The New York Times.

Iger served as CEO for 15 years before retiring in late 2020; he was brought back in about a year later after his successor, Bob Chapek, was fired, according to the NYT. Tumbling stock prices marked Chapek’s tenure as CEO, as did public outrage over the company’s political engagement in Florida and its alleged efforts to inject sexual content into children’s shows, particularly through gay and transgender characters.

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Disney Set for Layoffs After Billion-Dollar Earnings Miss

CEO Bob Chapek of Disney told executives that layoffs at the entertainment giant were likely, just days after a weak earnings report that missed expectations by over $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing an internal memo.

The email also announced a hiring freeze among other cost-saving measures including a request to limit travel without prior approval from executives, according to the WSJ. The company missed expectations for its fourth quarter earnings on Nov. 8 after losing nearly $1.5 billion on its Disney+ streaming service, nearly 40% worse than what analysts anticipated.

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Commentary: The Long, Slow Death of ESPN

So our readers will know, for the near entirety of your author’s life, pro and college sports have been an obsession.

Looking back on it, probably an unhealthy one. Age and maturity and the vicissitudes of 21st-century life are sharply curtailing the fever, though I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully quit LSU and the Saints (though a possible change in geography might do it; I used to be a Lakers and Yankees fan as a kid and couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about either team now).

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Behind the Scenes of Christopher Rufo’s ‘Drop Disney’ Campaign

Disney is known as the “happiest place on Earth.” Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo could not disagree more.

Rufo, who has done extensive reporting on Critical Race Theory (CRT), launched the “Drop Disney” campaign against the company earlier this month over the company’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, as well as its CRT trainings and promotion of gender ideology in children’s programming. Rufo’s goal is to instruct conservatives to “stop giving money to people who hate you,” and involves boycotting the company’s services and products.

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Corporations Stay Quiet on Abortion After Disney’s Disastrous Tangle with DeSantis

Ron DeSantis

Corporations previously outspoken about hot-button social issues have stayed quiet on the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade after a dramatic fight between Disney and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the company’s political activism.

Following the leak of a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats are trying to ram through a bill legalizing third trimester abortions; however, corporations are largely staying out of the fray, following Disney’s disastrous battle with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that ended with the company losing its special tax privileges.

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Disney Executive Who Led Company Response to Florida Bill Leaves Position After Just Three Months

The Disney executive who helped the company develop its response to Florida’s parental rights bill has left his position after just three months on the job, according to media reports.

Geoff Morrell, who as corporate affairs chief led the company in its ill-fated response to the Florida bill that critics labeled “Don’t Say Gay,” called the job “not the right fit” in a letter to his team obtained by media outlets.

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Gov. DeSantis Signs Legislation to Strip Walt Disney Company of Self-Governing Status

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Friday to strip Walt Disney World’s special status that granted the amusement park broad powers to self-govern.

The old agreement, which took place in 1967, has permitted the venue to work as a quasi-governmental agency and maintain the same authority as a county government.

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Florida Senate Passes Bill Dissolving Disney’s Special Self-Governing Power

The Florida Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that strips away Disney’s special self-governing status after the company publicly opposed a parental rights bill that was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis late last month.

Disney released a scathing statement after the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill was officially signed into law.

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Commentary: The Right Should Not Protect Woke Capital

Disney's Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

For nearly 70 years, families have traveled to Disney for vacation, not indoctrination.

Sadly, America’s preeminent entertainment company has joined a growing list of corporations bent on pushing woke ideologies.

For decades, Congress has unthinkingly supported these companies. Conservatives need to reassess whether Disney’s bottom line is worth protecting.  

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Disney Helps Employees ‘Transition’ Their Transgender Children and Themselves: Report

Disney is reportedly assisting employees and their children with sex change and “gender affirmation” procedures through the company’s benefits program.

The company’s “benefits team” is reportedly offering resources and guides to employees transitioning to the opposite gender, as well as information for employees’ children who are transitioning, according to a video shared by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo.

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‘Gay Agenda’: Disney Employees Reportedly Reveal Effort to Inject ‘Queerness’ into Children’s Shows

Walt Disney corporate employees were reportedly caught on camera discussing efforts to include more LGBT content in the company’s programming during company meetings discussing a Florida education bill, according to videos shared by Manhattan Institute senior fellow and activist Christopher Rufo.

A woman Rufo identified as Latoya Raveneau, an executive producer at Disney, reportedly boasted about injecting “queer” content into children’s shows and said the company made no effort to stop her during a meeting discussing Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, according to one of the leaked videos. The legislation, which bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, was signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday.

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Disney+ Pulls ‘Simpsons’ Episode Mocking China From Hong Kong Platform

Disney’s streaming service pulled an episode of ‘The Simpsons” that mocked Chinese censorship of the Tiananmen Square Massacre from its Hong Kong platform, according to multiple reports.

The episode, titled “Goo Goo Gai Pan,” featured the Simpson family traveling to Beijing, where they walk past a plaque in Tiananmen Square, the site of the 1989 massacre, that read: “On this site, in 1989, nothing happened.” Homer Simpson also referred to former Chinese leader Mao Zedong as “a little angel that killed 50 million people” in the episode.

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