Disney Awakens?

 

Eight days ago I wrote a post about The Walt Disney Company hitting the rocks of the reality of their chosen politics. Sunday night, that reality came to head as the company’s Board of Directors met and ousted CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with his predecessor, Bob Iger.

I’m not a big fan of Iger, but this is a plus for Disney shareholders. If you own any shares of the House of Mouse, this should please you. If I were him, I’d be on the phone with the Governor of Florida sooner than later.

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  1. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Obviously they need to thaw out exhume old Walt and put him back in charge.

    When I was a young child I ran into Walt – literally – as he was walking through Disneyland unchaperoned.

    All I remember is that he wasn’t the least bit indignant.

    • #31
  2. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    EJHill+: Eight days ago I wrote a post about The Walt Disney Company hitting the rocks of the reality of their chosen politics.

    Just read that excellent post, and the resulting conversation.

    • #32
  3. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    The drunken Scot perspective.  (Usual NSFW warnings.)

     

    • #33
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt” column today has a bit of a different take on Iger:

    Iger was briefly on a Trump administration business-advisory panel, but resigned when Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accords, openly stated that it was not in his company’s interest to ever publicly criticize the Chinese government. He also repeatedly clashed with former president Trump and weighed in increasingly loudly and frequently on DACA, gun control, and other political topics.

    He also pulls this from a March 2022 Hollywood Reporter article:

    Chapek is private about his politics but is believed to be much more conservative than Iger, who was a registered Democrat before becoming an independent in 2016. “Chapek is staunchly opposed to bringing Disney into issues he deems irrelevant to the company and its businesses,” this person says.

    So it may be that Disney is actually opting to go full-tilt-boogie to the Left.

    You can read Jim’s column here: https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/at-disney-woke-strikes-back/

    If Chapek was supposed to be at least the “moderate” he sure seemed to be doing a lousy job of it.

    • #34
  5. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    (Apologies if I’m treading old water. I didn’t bother to read through the comments.)

    Bob Chapek was Disney CEO for 33 months.

    Considering the time-frames involved when it comes to strategic planning in the entertainment industry, is that long enough for one guy to ruin the company?  How many of Disney’s recent disappointing projects and productions were actually initiated during Chapek’s tenure?

    By contrast, Bob Iger was Disney CEO for 15 years.  It was during his tenure that Disney started churning out the live-action remakes of their classic films.  It was during his tenure that Disney bought Lucasfilm and hired Kathleen Kennedy to oversee production of their mediocre (at best) intellectually-facile sci-fi pablum.

    If you look at Disney’s recent filmography, the creative rot clearly began way before Chapek became CEO.  Heck, how many of the projects released after 2020 were actually greenlit by Chapek?  Maybe half a dozen?

    If this were really about steering away from “wokeness” then why the heck would they bring back Bob Iger?  He’s the one who initially fostered Disney’s “woke era”!

    While Chapek was CEO, Iger was still Executive Chairman.  I wager that Chapek’s defenestration is mostly internal politics and has little to do with a change in strategic direction.  Heck, I’m more inclined to believe that Chapek was trying to change Disney’s strategic direction and Iger got rid of him to maintain the wokeness.

    Also, Chapek came from the Disney Parks division before becoming CEO.  Disney Parks have had a rough couple of years.

    • #35
  6. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    The change back to Iger wasn’t driven by ideology, but to perceptions of competence or the lack thereof.  It’s not like Disney has chosen to dump AOC and bring in Sean Hannity. 

    It was ever thus in Hollywood: each new studio chief claims the credit for the hits he released that his predecessor greenlit, and blames his successor for the flops that he himself greenlit. 

    • #36
  7. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Another one.  This guys has great sources in Disney, particularly in regard to Kathleen Kennedy.  (Same NSFW warning.)

     

    • #37
  8. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    I dont have a lot of sympathy for Bab Chapek here. While he was to a certain extent a victim of circumstance, mostly the circumstance, that Bob Iger didnt get appointed as Ambassador to China as he wanted. He made a few decisions that havent panned out very well. The fight with Florida is probably the biggest mistake.

    Hopefully Iger absorbed some criticism of Disney, while he was out of the bubble and enjoying real life. The biggest change I’d like to see him make, is that Disney should not be at war with its audience or critics. We’ve seen this in the recent past with Marvel and LucasFilm writers trolling fans, such behavior is grossly unprofessional and should not be tolerated.

    Frankly, I dont see this as a change that changes much.

    Its kind of ironic, that for a change, the first layoff was the guy who announced the layoffs.

    • #38
  9. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

     

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    • #39
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    (Apologies if I’m treading old water. I didn’t bother to read through the comments.)

    Bob Chapek was Disney CEO for 33 months.

    Considering the time-frames involved when it comes to strategic planning in the entertainment industry, is that long enough for one guy to ruin the company? How many of Disney’s recent disappointing projects and productions were actually initiated during Chapek’s tenure?

    By contrast, Bob Iger was Disney CEO for 15 years. It was during his tenure that Disney started churning out the live-action remakes of their classic films. It was during his tenure that Disney bought Lucasfilm and hired Kathleen Kennedy to oversee production of their mediocre (at best) intellectually-facile sci-fi pablum.

    If you look at Disney’s recent filmography, the creative rot clearly began way before Chapek became CEO. Heck, how many of the projects released after 2020 were actually greenlit by Chapek? Maybe half a dozen?

    If this were really about steering away from “wokeness” then why the heck would they bring back Bob Iger? He’s the one who initially fostered Disney’s “woke era”!

    While Chapek was CEO, Iger was still Executive Chairman. I wager that Chapek’s defenestration is mostly internal politics and has little to do with a change in strategic direction. Heck, I’m more inclined to believe that Chapek was trying to change Disney’s strategic direction and Iger got rid of him to maintain the wokeness.

    Also, Chapek came from the Disney Parks division before becoming CEO. Disney Parks have had a rough couple of years.

    Aha! I’m in the Chapek camp. Thank you for this. :)

    • #40
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):
    If this were really about steering away from “wokeness” then why the heck would they bring back Bob Iger?  He’s the one who initially fostered Disney’s “woke era”!

    Yup. 

    • #41
  12. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):
    While Chapek was CEO, Iger was still Executive Chairman.  I wager that Chapek’s defenestration is mostly internal politics and has little to do with a change in strategic direction.  Heck, I’m more inclined to believe that Chapek was trying to change Disney’s strategic direction and Iger got rid of him to maintain the wokeness.

    I agree. :)

     

    • #42
  13. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Percival (View Comment):

    Isn’t Iger the one who started digging this hole? Star Wars is gone. The MCU is as good as gone. Word is that Indiana Jones V is going to bomb harder than the Eighth Air Force hit Germany in 1944. The only thing left is pointless live action remakes of animated classics, and we’ve seen that trick already.

    Even Pixar hasn’t been pulling its own weight lately:

    FILM – YEAR – BUDGET – BOX OFFICE
    Onward – 2020 – $200 million – $142 million
    Soul – 2020 – $150 million – $121 million
    Luca – 2021 – Not Disclosed – $49.8 million
    Turning Red – 2022 – $175 million – $20.1 million (yikes!)
    Lightyear – 2022 – $200 million – $226 million

    Ironically, Disney’s own (non-pixar) animation division isn’t performing terribly, in spite of (or maybe because of) their limited output:

    FILM – YEAR – BUDGET – BOX OFFICE
    Raya and the Last Dragon – 2021 – $100 million – $130 million
    Encanto – 2021 – $150 million – $257 million

    Of course, one must keep in mind that as of 2019 both divisions’ box office numbers were measured in billions. Even that live-action Aladdin movie pulled in over a billion in 2019. A disappointing release was one that “only” made back twice its budget, like Mary Poppins Returns (2018) or the live-action Dumbo remake (2019).

    Something mysterious must have happened in 2020 that hurt their box office numbers…

    • #43
  14. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

     

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments.  But better.

    • #44
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

     

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments. But better.

    I laughed out loud at his lead-in, that the board was bringing back the guy who caused the current problems in the first place!

     

    • #45
  16. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

     

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments. But better.

    The Critical Drinker has a similar outlook:

    • #46
  17. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments. But better.

    The Critical Drinker has a similar outlook:

    Who wants to tell OccupantCDN?  I don’t have the heart to do it.

    • #47
  18. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments. But better.

    The Critical Drinker has a similar outlook:

    Who wants to tell OccupantCDN? I don’t have the heart to do it.

    What?

    • #48
  19. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments. But better.

    The Critical Drinker has a similar outlook:

    Who wants to tell OccupantCDN? I don’t have the heart to do it.

    It is a good video.

    • #49
  20. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The drunken Scot perspective. (Usual NSFW warnings.)

    I shoulda watched that before commenting.

    He said what I was trying to say in my several comments. But better.

    The Critical Drinker has a similar outlook:

    Who wants to tell OccupantCDN? I don’t have the heart to do it.

    It is a good video.

    Yea, I saw you beat me to it.

    • #50
  21. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    ClownfishTV has been predicting this for a while. Iger stepped down from CEO before things went seriously bad, and Chapek takes all the heat for a couple decades of bad decisions that have lost money. Now Iger comes in and presents himself as the guy who can save the company. It’s positively Machiavellian. Heck, the “Call Me Chato” channel on YouTube likens it to downright Game of Thrones-style manuevering.

    Notable in his video is that much of the decision-making comes from the Board of Directors at Disney, and the CEO is just the one responsible for executing their desires for the company. Thus the question is where did a large amount of these poor decisions come from: The board or the CEO’s office? Either way, Iger’s return doesn’t hold a lot of promise for the future of the company as near as I can tell.

    • #51
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    • #52
  23. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    Which would be even more Machiavellian, of course.

    • #53
  24. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    Which would be even more Machiavellian, of course.

    Hmm, well maybe.  But wouldn’t the true Machiavellian course be something like saying Chapek ruined things by not going Woke ENOUGH?  And that Iger had been on the correct path before?

    Sure that means eventual bankruptcy, but it just doesn’t seem all that Machiavellian to go back on what you were doing before, admitting that it was wrong.  The preferred course would be to do what you wanted to do in the first place, and somehow blame its failure on someone else.

    • #54
  25. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    kedavis (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    Which would be even more Machiavellian, of course.

    Hmm, well maybe. But wouldn’t the true Machiavellian course be something like saying Chapek ruined things by not going Woke ENOUGH? And that Iger had been on the correct path before?

    Sure that means eventual bankruptcy, but it just doesn’t seem all that Machiavellian to go back on what you were doing before, admitting that it was wrong. The preferred course would be to do what you wanted to do in the first place, and somehow blame its failure on someone else.

    Well, it’s more, Iger might have seen the writing on the wall for his previous policies, seen where things were going. So he steps down and puts in Chapek who gets the blame for all that. Iger can change course and look like a hero even while being the architect of the disaster.

    There’s a similar scenario in The Prince where an official is put in charge of a conquered region and instructed to get these people under heel. He does so with enthusiasm. Then the Prince comes in a good while later and listens to the complaints of the people. He hears story after story of the terrible treatment and outrageous punishments for even minor misbehaviors. The Prince then behaves as if he’s never conceived of such terrible treatment. He immediately dispatches the official. The people are under control, and as an added bonus, they like the Prince because he removed the horrible official.

    Now Iger may not be quite that deep, but there’s definitely some indication that he’s made moves somewhat in the spirit of such things.

    • #55
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    Which would be even more Machiavellian, of course.

    Hmm, well maybe. But wouldn’t the true Machiavellian course be something like saying Chapek ruined things by not going Woke ENOUGH? And that Iger had been on the correct path before?

    Sure that means eventual bankruptcy, but it just doesn’t seem all that Machiavellian to go back on what you were doing before, admitting that it was wrong. The preferred course would be to do what you wanted to do in the first place, and somehow blame its failure on someone else.

    Well, it’s more, Iger might have seen the writing on the wall for his previous policies, seen where things were going. So he steps down and puts in Chapek who gets the blame for all that. Iger can change course and look like a hero even while being the architect of the disaster.

    There’s a similar scenario in The Prince where an official is put in charge of a conquered region and instructed to get these people under heel. He does so with enthusiasm. Then the Prince comes in a good while later and listens to the complaints of the people. He hears story after story of the terrible treatment and outrageous punishments for even minor misbehaviors. The Prince then behaves as if he’s never conceived of such terrible treatment. He immediately dispatches the official. The people are under control, and as an added bonus, they like the Prince because he removed the horrible official.

    Now Iger may not be quite that deep, but there’s definitely some indication that he’s made moves somewhat in the spirit of such things.

    But the Prince didn’t reverse all those rules that had been put into place – which would be an admission that they were wrong – he just “dispatched” the person who he had gotten to implement and blamed him for them.

    To be like that part of The Prince, Iger would have to continue and maybe even increase the Wokeness rules while somehow blaming Chapek for them and that they are somehow irreversible.

    That doesn’t seem to be what is happening.

    If Iger does backtrack on the Wokeness, that would be like the Prince admitting he was wrong, which never seemed to happen.

    • #56
  27. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    He doesnt have to blame anyone. Times change, Disney should make entertainment reflective of the times.

    I wonder if they’ll ever release “Songs of the South” from the vault?

    • #57
  28. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    He doesnt have to blame anyone. Times change, Disney should make entertainment reflective of the times.

    I wonder if they’ll ever release “Songs of the South” from the vault?

    Probably. They re-released it into theaters as late as the Eighties. They sold thousands of copies of it on VHS and laserdisc. We aren’t talking Triumph of the Will here. It’ll eventually get the streaming equivalent of an art house, film museum, and film history treatment, probably with a half-hour extra short documentary that features clips of black historians contrasting the stereotypes of the era with the artistry of the animation and the mixed reactions of black audiences over the years. That wouldn’t be unreasonable. 

    But I don’t think it’ll ever again be treated as mainstream, wholesome, children’s entertainment. 

    • #58
  29. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    He doesnt have to blame anyone. Times change, Disney should make entertainment reflective of the times.

    I wonder if they’ll ever release “Songs of the South” from the vault?

    Probably. They re-released it into theaters as late as the Eighties. They sold thousands of copies of it on VHS and laserdisc. We aren’t talking Triumph of the Will here. It’ll eventually get the streaming equivalent of an art house, film museum, and film history treatment, probably with a half-hour extra short documentary that features clips of black historians contrasting the stereotypes of the era with the artistry of the animation and the mixed reactions of black audiences over the years. That wouldn’t be unreasonable.

    But I don’t think it’ll ever again be treated as mainstream, wholesome, children’s entertainment.

    I think I’ve seen it on the “Wonderful World of Disney” which would run at 6PM on Sunday nights on CBC. Maybe in the early 70s. I think scenes from the movie were incorporated into background roll for the opening credits… I dont recall much of the plot of the movie – some of the soundtrack… 

    Its weird how I can recall things I’ve seen on TV when I was a young child – but remember almost nothing of my real life from the same time period.

    • #59
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I suppose there’s some miniscule chance that Iger will realize his previous decisions were disastrous and actually reverse course while blaming it all on his “predecessor.”

    He doesnt have to blame anyone. Times change, Disney should make entertainment reflective of the times.

    I wonder if they’ll ever release “Songs of the South” from the vault?

    Probably. They re-released it into theaters as late as the Eighties. They sold thousands of copies of it on VHS and laserdisc. We aren’t talking Triumph of the Will here. It’ll eventually get the streaming equivalent of an art house, film museum, and film history treatment, probably with a half-hour extra short documentary that features clips of black historians contrasting the stereotypes of the era with the artistry of the animation and the mixed reactions of black audiences over the years. That wouldn’t be unreasonable.

    But I don’t think it’ll ever again be treated as mainstream, wholesome, children’s entertainment.

    Because they have vomit-inducing standards of “wholesome” now.

    • #60
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