Bob Iger is pledging to back out of the culture war… again. According to a report written by Lauren Martin, a company analyst for Needham & Company, Iger told Disney investors he would “quiet the noise” on the culture war because it’s bad for business. This happened on Tuesday at an investor event held at Disney World in Orlando, attended by 120 Disney investors and analysts. The larger points Iger made involved Disney planning to invest $60 billion in its parks and cruise ships over the next decade, but that line is what people are picking up on, and with good reason. Disney has spent the past several years advocating for graphic sexual material to be pushed in schools, forcing social issues and identity politics into its movies and theme parks, and generally creeping out and annoying a lot of people. In fact, I think I know some online folks who’ve been saying that was a bad idea that’d come back to bite them.
The English have a saying: “I believe you; thousands wouldn’t.”
I haven’t been able to find specific context for this Iger partial quote anywhere. Is he referring to the movies and TV shows, the theme parks, the merchandise, or specifically to mounting political crusades like the one they did against the Florida bill? What we’ve seen is vague enough that it could refer to any of those things, which means it’s probably an empty promise delivered to worried investors who thought they were putting their money in one of the most secure stocks of all time. What a difference a few years and a bearded Princess make. Needless to say, I don’t believe Iger, and until tangible proof of this exists, nobody else should either. I understand that seeing a sea change like this on the screen takes time – there are plenty of movies that have already been made and are waiting to come out – but it’s important to remember that this stuff started under Iger. Bob Chapek took the blame for it (and didn’t handle himself well, to be fair), but this push was Iger’s brainchild, the pet project of a septuagenarian businessman who became an activist when he realized he’d never have to worry about money again and he has the keys to the Magic Kingdom. But he also understands he has to keep business going, and that means appeasing the people who are funding Disney, at least by telling them what they want to hear. On the off chance that Iger is on the level, it’ll be funny to watch the reaction of the people who cheered them on everywhere but at the cash register.