In November of last year, news broke that Bob Iger was coming back to run Disney. At the time, CNBC wrote, “Iger’s shocking return as Disney ’s chief executive officer immediately throws into question several major decisions made by outgoing CEO Bob Chapek.
Disney shares, which jumped Monday morning, have fallen more than 40% this year, including slumping on weak fiscal fourth-quarter results earlier this month.
The Disney board’s choice to replace Chapek with Iger speaks to it having more confidence Iger will deliver better results. Iger has disapproved of several of Chapek’s changes to Disney despite hand-picking him as his successor in early 2020, according to people familiar with the matter, as CNBC reported earlier this year.
The biggest point of contention may be Chapek’s reorganization of the company, which established a new division called Disney Media and Entertainment, or DMED, and consolidated budgetary power for Disney’s content and distribution divisions under Kareem Daniel. Undoing a complete restructure of a company would be messy and time consuming, but it’s hard to imagine Iger will keep Chapek’s organization in place. Daniel’s position at the company also becomes more tenuous. He has close connections to Chapek.”
Now it looks like Iger’s cleaning house as he tries to fix the ailing entertainment company.
The Wall Street Journalreports that Disney will be cutting “7,000 jobs and slash $5.5 billion in costs as part of a major corporate reorganization that gives more power to the company’s content executives and puts a greater emphasis on sports media at the company.
Robert Iger announced the news in his first earnings call since returning as chief executive. In the wide-ranging call, Mr. Iger outlined plans for significant changes to the company’s slate of movies and television shows, the reinstatement of Disney’s dividend and possible changes in pricing for the company’s streaming video services, among other things.
Many of the moves signal the reversal of the approach taken by his predecessor, Bob Chapek, who was dismissed by the company’s board in November.
“It’s time for another transformation,” Mr. Iger said. He said the changes would reshape the company around creativity, reduce expenses and lead to profits in its streaming business.”
In its latest misstep, Disney is under fire for pushing a hard leftwing political agenda.
The New York Post noted, “In a sinister cartoon airing on Disney+ called “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” the characters proclaim, ‘Slaves built this country, and we the descendants of slaves in America have earned reparations for their suffering and continue to earn reparations every moment we spend submerged in a systemic prejudice, racism and white supremacy that America was founded with and still has not atoned for.’
The show is a reboot of a popular show from 20 years ago, right around when the parents of Disney+’s audience were children themselves. Trying to tap into their parents’ nostalgia, Disney is using the trust established by the original brand and squandering it; using animated characters to promote its version of history through a woke and critical-race-theory prism.
The characters go on to denigrate President Abraham Lincoln and compare slavery to modern-day racial controversies. “We had Tubman, Turner, Frederick D. Then they say Lincoln freed the slaves, but slaves were men and women and only we can free ourselves. Emancipation is not freedom,” they sang. “Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, public schools feeding private prisons where we become slaves again.”
Almost everyone can agree that, of course, we should be teaching the next generation about the evils of slavery and how its existence was part of American history since before the Founding. The problem is the woke only want their version of history taught: through the lens of critical race theory, where whiteness is evil and must be atoned for.”
The show is produced by Disney executive Latoya Raveneau who was previously caught on video admitting that she’s putting her political agenda into Disney stories to allow her to push it on kids.
The Post praised DeSantis for his efforts to try and rein in Disney’s craziness. The real question is, with these cuts is Iger beginning to do the same?