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.
Disney is struggling to make its streaming business profitable, improve the quality of its films, position its flagship sports brand, ESPN, to stream directly to consumers, and potentially shed its television networks.
On Tuesday, Disney offered a clearer picture of the opportunity it sees, which can only be described as colossal: The company disclosed in a security filing that it planned to spend roughly $60 billion over the next decade to expand its domestic and international parks and to continue building Disney Cruise Line. That amount is double what Disney spent on parks and the cruise line over the past decade, which was itself a period of greatly increased investment.
So, DIS waves the white flag and will no longer be openly pro-gay rights, and throws vast amounts of money at their critics to persuade them to forget that DIS was ever pro-gay right? But will that be the end of it? Or will the demands start that DIS be openly hostile to the LBGTQ community?
Almost certainly not. I read it as Disney will stop yammering about things like gay** rights and just continue making their entertainment offerings more inclusive. He can let their actions speak rather than their words.
In a way, it’s a subtle power move. Talking about things is easy for anyone to do. (see, for example, The Internet in general and this post in particular) But doing is much more challenging. Iger knows Disney can do more things faster to promote gay rights than any politician can do to curtail those rights. Politicians can talk about banning books from libraries or threatening privacy and even accomplish a bit of that. But they can’t actually stop people from being gay or stop people from talking about it or reading those banned books.
So I think this is about as far as you can get from waving a white flag. Watch Disney’s actions in the future and don’t look for them to talk a lot about it.
** When I mention “gay” in this post, please read it as far more than just gay. It includes all of LGBTQ (which is much harder to type) plus other non-traditional approaches to gender and other lifestyle choices)
As we have seen, it is far too easy to offend the anti-gay faction. Can’t show an openly gay character. Can’t even imply someone is gay. Or the nutters may decide something is gay out of thin air. and the boycotts start. Remember the repeated waves of chatter than Procter and Gamble was controlled by the Unification Church, aka “Moonies”, because of the company’s century old logo?
But from a business perspective, they are in the minority and likely shrinking. In the big picture, there are always going to be people offended by something that a large business does. You can’t run your business to avoid offending every small group of people. You don’t want to offend large groups, but you are always going to have some smaller group offended at this or that or the other. The best way to deal with those folks is to ignore them - at least publicly. Making a big deal about them only gives their fringe positions some bit of publicity, probably more than they could generate on their own.
Hence, Iger’s comment about turning down the noise. Noise from Disney opposing the restriction of gay rights accomplishes nothing. Actually doing the work of treating gays equally is probably what those who have been discriminated against would like to see businesses doing.
That’s the thing. Disney is not trying to run Shiny-land policy. They’re trying to make a buck or two or a billion. Chapek blew it by trying to insert Disney into the politics of Florida. He probably should have responded a bit more carefully and tactfully to the employees who were getting agitated over Florida politics rather than doing so more loudly in the public eye. Iger is now dealing with that blowback and is just keeping his mouth shut and getting the job done.
There’s a whole lot more to Disney than the politics of a single state. And back to the main point of the thread - silence is not surrender.
That is not that simple. In the 1970s gays looked for rights without developing a proganda true or otherwise. In the 2000s and beyond gays developed the family person with children concept. This humanized the “other”. It is necessary.
The transgender folks did not humanize themselves. Just being a Vaudeville act is not showing daily living as common folks. I get the trans community is overjoyed to come in from the cold. It matters a great deal. But dragging the gutter with them at times into the office with the insistence of everyone being on their terms? I had no problems with the terms. I wish others had no problems with the terms. That is not how it is working out in some quarters. It is hurting the trans cause. I wish it was not.
I am not cow-towing to bigots. I am counting votes. Big difference. I live in a state with the votes and am one of the votes. CT is not the only state.
None of us get to be 100% of who we want to be or think we are. That is great in that it allows all of us to learn and grow. We are not stuck in the mud. That does not mean we have no responsibility to think over our actions and those of others.
The ejits are on the march and that has hurt people. They feel provoked.
Ahhh, you mean a comment on the post, not “the post” itself! I didn’t see it. Maybe it has political or otherwise banned content in it??? There’s no politics on this board. I kind of wonder what macro content this post has in the first place … maybe it should be marked “OT”?
Disagree, we have a choice of better or worse ideas. We can not change anyone’s point of view. We can however promote better ideas. Florida has lost. People are far less interested in bad ideas when exposed. The Millennials have other plans. This is not over and won’t end.
The economic debate is stomping on a grave. If you care about this nation.
I think that’s a bit of malarkey. Company’s have long expressed pleasure/displeasure over local politics. This is one of the very few times where a Pol took it so personally that they became vindictive.
Let’s not forget that Disney PAID for the right to speak their mind - to the tune of over $100,000 donated to the Florida Governor’s PAC to help him get elected in the first place.
DeSantis’ political committee received three contributions from Disney totaling $100,000 and a $6,809 in-kind contribution for “food and beverage,” likely catering for a fundraiser or some other campaign event. Disney gave DeSantis $50,000 in 2019 and $50,000 in 2021.
But wait, it gets better (or is that worse?):
Then came 2018. Records show Disney and its assorted corporate entities — from Magic Kingdom Inc. to the Celebration Co. — spent $28.3 million during the cycle. It’s a notable sum even for a company as large as Disney, whose worldwide parks and resorts business generated about $4.5 billion in operating income in fiscal 2018.
It’s also one of the largest amounts a single entity has ever spent on state elections in Florida history, according to Florida Trend research. (Among the small number who have ever spent more: Former Gov. Rick Scott, who shelled out roughly $70 million of his own money on his first run for governor in 2010.)
So Disney has long been engaged in speech in Florida politics. They spent millions advocating to keep casinos out of Florida - but this time they focused on the wrong vindictive snowflake.