COLUMN: The Walt Disney Company and TV Industry Corruption
It’s an amazing corporate turnaround that should be in the history books. When Bob Iger succeeded Michael Eisner as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company in late 2005, he knew that for this American icon to be successful in the future, he had to return to it’s glory days, as well as those of the animation industry. During the transition of power to Iger, Disney’s feature animation department – which was put on the map due to bringing us the first sound cartoon (Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse) and the first full-length animated feature (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) – had been in decline in the mid-2000’s.
In 2006, Disney bought Pixar Animation Studios. And soon enough, Pixar co-founder John Lasseter – a man once fired by Disney – found himself back on top, bringing us what is now considered a Disney Revival. The successes of creative, ambitious, and overall entertaining family fare such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia are all thanks to Lasseter and fellow Pixar alumnus Ed Catmull, who Iger understood were key to letting the company restore its family-friendly reputation.
However, despite that continued and well-deserved success, Iger now has yet another problem regarding the Disney-ABC Television Group. In addition to an ESPN commentator inappropriately calling the president a white supremacist on Twitter, the ABC network has announced it will be developing a sitcom centering around a “sanctuary family” of illegal immigrants. Talk about doubling down on alienating audiences.
As demonstrated earlier this year, people like Disney-ABC president Ben Sherwood, ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey, and ESPN president John Skipper have destroyed Disney’s once profitable television arm. The company should certainly tell all three executives they have a lot of explaining to do, because this is the same arm that fired Curt Schilling from ESPN for an obviously inappropriate tweet about transgender bathrooms, and cancelled conservative comedian Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing despite the show’s high ratings.
Think about it, Disney-ABC Television fires conservatives like Curt Schilling and Tim Allen (the former for obvious and understandable reasons, while the latter was for no reason at all), while allowing people like Jemele Hill to call the president a white supremacist on Twitter without penalty, and give the green light for sitcoms that openly promote leftist causes. Incredible.
The situation directly impacts Disney as a whole, because the company’s stock, valued at over $150 billion, continues to be dragged down by the failure of the television arm. All of this despite continuing box office success with its two feature animation divisions. And, not to be left out, ABC News continues to be one of the most anti-Trump news organizations in the media.
There’s something very wrong about all of this, the television division of a major American corporation promoting vicious attacks against conservatives and dragging down its parent company’s stock and its overall family-friendly and/or kid-friendly public image. So, how can Sherwood, Dungey, and Skipper still be running that operation while the shared progressive agenda of its broadcast network and cable channels continues to hemorrhage viewers? That’s insane.
It is past time for Disney to put a stop to this nonsense, and begin policing the Disney-ABC Television Group. There’s nothing they can do about certain journalists and entertainers being liberal, because that has begun to define most of the respective entertainment and journalism industries nowadays. But the fact that networks such as ESPN, ABC, and Freeform (not to mention youth-oriented networks like Disney Channel to some extent) trash conservatives in sportscasts, scripted programming, and newscasts shows that all of their TV operations are now flat-out corrupt.
As for Iger himself, he seems to rightfully be distancing himself from the Disney-ABC Television Group in order to focus on the motion picture, consumer product, and theme park businesses which all include the Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm brands. Thinking about this now, it’s better off that he did.