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It’s both a joyous and sad experience to watch the denouement of an iconic American brand at the hands of the talentless Woke.
Joyous because there is “social justice” in a real sense to see Disney, which built its media empire on entertainment for American families — cultural content that reflected the values of the society that spawned the company, rather than tearing down those values and replacing them with something alien, untested, and hostile — pay the price for its mistakes.
We should take joy in that.
And it’s happening.
You already know about the $200 million bath Disney is taking thanks to its unwise and unsuccessful advocacy against the fraudulently dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida; that state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, and its legislative majority stripped the highly favorable tax treatment given to the company for its massive Orlando-area theme park for more than half a century in response to Disney’s threats and attacks over the passage of a bill that even a majority of Democrat voters in Florida were for.
You know about the subsequent admissions, in a leaked company video call, by Disney executives that it’s actively pursuing an agenda that can only be described as grooming kids for alternative and bizarre sexualities through its programming.
And you know that Disney’s cultural content again and again reflects that agenda. You also know that this is being done at the expense of Disney’s box office heft.
Or, if you didn’t know it before, you know it now. Disney’s new $130 million animated tentpole film, Strange World, which was intended to serve as its Christmas-season blockbuster, absolutely tanked at the box office last weekend. National Review writes:
Disney suffered one of its worst theatrical releases ever with its latest animated movie Strange World, which brought in just $18.6 million over the five-day holiday weekend despite being heralded as the first Disney movie to include an openly gay main character.
Strange World had Disney’s second-worst opening weekend ever, behind only the pandemic-era release of West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg, Variety reported Sunday. Ultimately, Strange World only garnered about half of its projected long weekend revenue.
The film featured a star-studded cast including voice acting from Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Lucy Liu, and Gabrielle Union, and sported a massive budget between $120 and $130 million, the Daily Mail writes.
Expectations were initially high for Strange World with Disney projecting the film to earn between $30 and $40 million dollars over the long weekend. However, those figures were rapidly, and significantly, revised downwards when it was understood how poorly the movie was performing with audiences.
The people responsible for Strange World can’t say they didn’t see this coming. After all, Disney had already kneecapped itself by infusing its summer animated tentpole, Lightyear, which was aimed at kids, with lesbianism. Audiences stayed away in droves.
Strange World isn’t just a woke propaganda piece, it’s also boring garbage. This is a typical reaction from one unsatisfied customer…
Already, there are consequences. Recently deposed CEO Bob Chapek, who openly embraced the woke agenda after being browbeaten by social justice warriors inside the company when he didn’t initially launch into attacks over Florida’s parental rights bill, has been replaced by the iconic former boss, Bob Iger.
Can Iger rescue Disney? Well, he’s trying to hold costs down, and he said in a town hall with Disney employees Monday that the company will prioritize “chasing profitability” over expanding its offerings. That seems like a recognition that Chapek’s woke enthusiasm has been a disaster. But Iger oversaw a lot of Disney’s corruption during his former tenure, and Chapek was an Iger protégé. There isn’t much reason to believe that Iger is going to reform that company’s cultural and political stance.
Which doesn’t bode well for its future.
It’s good to see the trouble at Disney, for the same reason Rush Limbaugh famously said, upon the election of Barack Obama as president, that “I hope he fails” in office.
When you know the agenda, and it’s harmful, then of course you want it to fail. Disney has clearly oriented itself toward grooming kids for alternative sexual lifestyles and the market is savaging it for its trouble.
So there is reason for joy in its suffering.
There is also reason for sadness.
Because whatever Disney is now, it has been part of the fabric of American life for a long time. And to see an institution so cherished as that company become a rotten, corrupt, and malign influence on our culture is a sad thing.
It’s also a sad thing to see what the collapse of Disney’s stock has done to the portfolios of millions of American investors, people who are depending on those assets for their financial security. On March 9, 2021, Disney stock was $195.06. It now trades at $95.69.
It’s a shame to see the failure of an American institution, even if one recognizes and appreciates the necessity of that failure based on the institution’s corruption.
And there’s only one solution.
Which is that Disney ought to soon be ripe for a hostile takeover and a near-total shakeout of its middle and upper management. Disney needs a total makeover of its corporate model and a reorientation as the institution it was created to be.
Much like the effect Elon Musk’s increasingly hostile takeover of Twitter has produced.
Less wokeness, if not none. Much less political activism. Zero grooming, ever again. More values-oriented entertainment.
It wouldn’t be a bad thing if Disney was a lot smaller as well. The age of massive media conglomerates owning giant chunks of the television and film markets has not been a net plus for the consumer market or the culture, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Congress to force the breakup of companies like Disney.
Perhaps market forces might result in Disney breaking up on its own. That would be fine.
Just so long as this rancid woke monstrosity that destroys wealth along with our cultural patrimony is dramatically altered and prevented from doing more damage, we’re open to ideas about its future.
Reporting from The American Spectator.