(RightWing.org) – Those who were born in the Baby Boomer, Gen X, and early Millennial generations knew Disney as typically wholesome and family-centered entertainment. In recent years, the House of the Mouse has found itself under construction, and in November 2022, the Board of Directors rehired Bob Iger as its CEO and greenlighted his vision for “transforming” the entertainment business powerhouse.
Fewer People Working and Watching
On February 8, Iger held his first quarterly earning call since his return to the helm of Disney. During the call, he announced the company exceeded expectations from analysts in both revenues ($23.51 billion versus a predicted $23.44 billion) and adjusted earnings-per-share ($0.99/share versus $0.78/share) for the quarter ending December 31, 2022. However, he also announced that as part of his “significant transformation,” roughly 7,000 jobs are being shed, which accounts for approximately 4% of its worldwide workforce.
Iger said letting those workers go was part of his effort to cut $5.5 billion in costs as part of his restructuring of the company going forward while warning that “further [emphasis added] deterioration in domestic and global economic conditions” could negatively impact his “forward-looking statements.” As the world has seen, the policy decisions of President Joe Biden have resulted in double-digit inflation and economic recession, and if they persist or worsen, the CEO’s plan could be torpedoed and sunk to the deepest depths of the ocean.
Part of Iger’s strategy is to increase the company’s focus on its television and film franchises, including its Disney+ streaming service, which has seen a decline in viewers for the first time since its inception. There was a net loss of 2.4 million subscribers to the service during the last quarter of 2022.
Disney’s foray into politics as a champion of the Liberal woke agenda has not fared well in Florida under Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. A law (the Reedy Creek Improvement Act) was passed in 1967 and gave Disney the same authority a county government would have over the 25,000 acres (38.5 square miles) where its amusement Empire would be built.
In early 2022, DeSantis, and the Republican-controlled legislature, passed the Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teachings about sexual orientation or gender identity through the third-grade level of elementary schools (dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by Leftists). Disney eventually released a statement saying it was “dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family,” but only after the group put extreme public pressure on the company.
On February 9, the Florida House approved a measure (82-31) that would allow the Governor’s office to appoint the five-person board of supervisors for the Reedy Creek district rather than having them selected by Disney as they are now. Democrats oppose the bill because, as State Representative Anna V. Eskamani (D) put it, it was “always about trying to punish Disney for defending LGBTQ+ people.”
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