Entertainment

Bob Iger Confirms Disney Will Double Down On Woke Content: “We Can’t Lose That, We Just Can’t”

Despite audience hopes, returning CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that Disney will be doubling down on producing woke content.

Bob Iger may be back at the helm of The Walt Disney Company, but if anyone thought his return would see the company shift away from divisive identity politics, they would be sadly mistaken.

ALL ABOARD — Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-adventure “Strange World” journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest—and by far— most crucial mission. The film features the voices of (clockwise from top left) Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, the leader of Avalonia; Jake Gyllenhaal as farmer and father Searcher Clade; Dennis Quaid as diehard explorer and Searcher’s father, Jaegar Clade; Gabrielle Union as pilot and mother Meridian Clade; and Jaboukie Young-White as the youngest Clade, Meridian and Searcher’s son, Ethan. “Strange World” releases November 23, 2022. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

RELATED: Disney’s Lightyear Flops At The Box Office Following Chris Evans Comments On Same Sex Kiss Scene

In a stunning turn of events, last week The Walt Disney Company announced that effective immediately, former CEO Bob Iger would be back in his old role, replacing sitting CEO Bob Chapek.

Bob Chapek talks about his plans for his then-upcoming tenure as Disney CEO in Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek: I will follow path laid by Bob Iger via YouTube

“The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period,” announced the Disney board’s current chairman, Susan Arnold, in a statement provided to the media on November 20th. “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 29: (L-R) Producer, President of Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Kevin Feige, EVP of Production at Marvel Studios Victoria Alonso, Co-Producer Brian Chapek, and Executive Producer Brad Winderbaum attend the Black Widow World Premiere Fan Event at Dolby Theatre on June 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

With his return, everyone from the company’s employees to its critics alike have been eager to know Iger’s plans for Disney’s creative direction, particularly in regards to its production of woke content.

And during an internal Q&A held between himself and Disney employees on November 28th, the CEO would confirm that diversity, inclusion, and LGBTQ content are here to stay.

Baymax (Scott Adist) visits the grocery store in Baymax! (2022), Walt Disney Animation Studios via Disney Plus
Baymax (Scott Adist) visits the grocery store in Baymax! (2022), Walt Disney Animation Studios via Disney Plus

RELATED: Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney For Breach Of Contract Over Black Widow’s Same-Day Streaming Release, Disney Says Lawsuit Disregards “Horrific” Effects Of Covid-19

Iger would address the topic in reply to a number of questions submitted to him by his employees.

As seen in video obtained by independent journalist Christopher F. Rufo, the CEO would offer his first thoughts on the subject after being asked whether or not Disney will “stay out of making political statements” under his tenure.

“I think there’s a misperception here about wat politics is,” answered Iger. “I think that some of the subjects that have proven to be ‘controversial’ as it relates to Disney have been branded political, and I don’t necessarily believe they are.”

“I don’t think that when you are telling stories and attempting to be a good citizen of the world, that that’s political,” he affirmed. “It’s just not how I view it.”

She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) visits the series' writer room in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 9 "Whose Show Is This?" (2022), Marvel Entertainment via Disney Plus
She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) visits the series’ writer room in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 9 “Whose Show Is This?” (2022), Marvel Entertainment via Disney Plus

“Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy?” he then asked rhetorically of the crowd. “Of course not, it can be distracting, and it can have a negative impact on the company.”

“And to the extent that i can work to quiet things down, I’m going to do that,” added Iger. “But I think it’s important to put in perspective what some of these subjects are and not just simply brand them as political.”

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Later, when asked for his “stance on the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ situation”, the CEO would explain, “Well, first of all, our LGBTQ employees are very important to us and we care deeply about them.”

“That is a given,” he declared. “Secondly, this company has been telling stories for a hundred years, and those stories have had a meaningful, positive impact on the world.”

“I think about Black Panther and the impact that had on the world, or a film like Coco,” Iger continued. “I could go on and on. How we actually change the world for the good must continue.”

“When you tell stories, there’s a delicate balance,” he said. “You’re talking to an audience, but it’s also important to listen. It’s important to have respect for the people that you’re serving and not have disdain for them.”

King T'Challa formulates a plan in Black Panther (2019), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-ray
King T’Challa formulates a plan in Black Panther (2019), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-ray

To this end, he then admitted, “that said, we’re not going to make everyone happy all the time, and we’re not going to try to.

“We’re certainly not going to lessen our core values in order to make everyone happy all the time,” he then assured his employees. “So, it’s complicated, and there’s a balance.”

FAMILY TRIP – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed comedy adventure “Strange World” introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land. The voice cast includes Jaboukie Young-White as 16-year-old Ethan, who longs for adventure beyond the family farm; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and loving wife and mom; and Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a brilliant family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission. Helmed by director Don Hall (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer “Raya and the Last Dragon”), with Roy Conli (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled”) producing, “Strange World” releases November 23, 2022. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

“At one point,” the CEO recalled. “I said, ‘We do what we believe is right’, and then someone criticized me, ‘Who are you to say what’s right?'”

“When you’re in a job like mine, or you are responsible for storytelling, you get paid to have a sense for what is right,” concluded Chapek. “Not everybody will agree with you, that’s just not the way the world is these days, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to do the right thing.”

Gorr (Christian Bale) taunts Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Marvel Entertainment
Gorr (Christian Bale) taunts Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-ray

RELATED: Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Reportedly Calls Hiring CEO Bob Chapek “One of His Worst Business Decisions”

Though Iger seems confident in betting Disney’s future on woke content, the company’s recent box office returns should give him ample reason to pause.

Earlier this year, after heavily marketing the film based on its inclusion of a lesbian relationship, Lightyear bombed at the box office only drawing $226 million dollars on a production budget of $200 million dollars – an estimated loss of well over $100 million for the House of Mouse.

Lesbian Couple In Lightyear Movie
Buzz (Chris Evans) looks on as Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) and her wife, Kiko, attend their son’s college graduation in Lightyear, Pixar Animation Studios (2022) via YouTube

The company’s latest animated film, Strange World, released ahead of Thanksgiving only to bomb at the box office with a domestic take of only $18.6 million at the domestic box office.

With a reported production budget of between $135 million and $180 million, meaning the film has to make between $335 million and $450 million to break even.

UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE STORY – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Strange World” introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land. The original action-packed comedy adventure features the voices of Dennis Quaid as legendary larger-than-life explorer Jaeger Clade; Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher’s partner in all things. Jaboukie Young-White as Searcher’s 16-year-old son, Ethan, who finally finds the adventure he’s always wanted; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, fearless leader of the mythical Avalonia who spearheads an exploration into a strange world. “Strange World” opens in theaters nationwide on Nov. 23, 2022. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Despite a string of poorly performing woke projects from the Disney brand, Iger’s statement makes it very clear that they won’t stop pushing diversity and inclusion anytime soon – even if costs them over nine figures each time they try.

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) feels the full force of Wenwu's control over the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-Ray
Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) feels the full force of Wenwu’s control over the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-Ray

NEXT: Disney CEO Bob Chapek Confirms Company Undertaking Massive Cost-Cutting Measures In Wake Of Poor Q4 Financial Report

  • Categories

  • Leave a Comment