Over the past few years, Disney has come under fire for its films and shows, where many believe the company has focused too much on a political “agenda” through its diversity, equity and inclusion programs.  The company has also come into the line of fire following its involvement in the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Flordia, which prohibits schools from teaching gender and sexuality through the third grade.

This problem resulted in major legal issues for the company with the former Republican presidential candidate Ron Desantis, following former CEO Bob Chapek wading in on the issue following an outcry from Disney employees, resulting in major changes to how Walt Disney World could operate and the issue being brought onto the world stage during the Presidential nominee campaign.

Following Bob Iger’s return as Disney CEO, he has said on many occasions that he was trying to pull back on political issues. He recently made a deal in Florida to end all legal issues and tried to cool down on the messaging in its content.

During Disney’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Bob Iger addressed a question about Disney staying out of politics, saying that the company is not out to “advance any kind of agenda,” but rather is focused on entertainment.  With Bob saying:

“Our job is to entertain first and foremost, and by telling great stories, we continue to have a positive impact on the world and inspire future generations, just as we’ve done for over 100 years. Disney has always been and will continue to be a source of hope, joy and optimism for people of all ages. We’re committed to telling stories that reflect the world around us and using those stories to entertain people from all walks of life.

I’ve always believed that we have a responsibility to do good in the world. But we know our job is not to advance any kind of agenda. So as long as I’m in the job, I’m going to continue to be guided by a sense of decency and respect. And we will always trust our instincts,”

Without a doubt, Disney has come under pressure from both sides of the political landscape and is trying to navigate back to a more central position to keep everyone happy. However, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it will take some time to fix. 

Disney is still committed to entertaining people, which will no doubt include topics and themes that some more conservative audiences might not like, but it might also be more stricter on where that happens. 

It’s a tricky balancing act to try to keep everyone happy, and that is unlikely to work fully, since no one can please everyone all of the time, but there is no doubt, that Bob Iger is trying to iron out the issues that have caused Disney to get stuck right in the middle of a culture war, which hasn’t been good for business.  

These comments from Bob Iger have been made to try to calm down the situation, but ultimately, the proof is going to come over time from the content.  If you look back at Disney’s vast library of movies and shows, you’ll find that most of the stories have a particular theme that the story addresses, but they have been told in a way that appeals to everyone.

With the box office results for many of its movies over the last few years, it is clear something isn’t clicking with audiences, and the company is making changes to pull back on how much content it creates, instead focusing on quality over quantity, which hopefully will help bring Disney back to the heights it had before the pandemic.

It’s going to be a hard few years for Disney to dig itself out of the culture war, but do you think Disney will manage it?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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