BY STEPHEN GREEN, PJ Media
Disney shares were up Thursday on news that the company is cutting costs and letting go of 7,000 employees. But the real news is that the formerly family-friendly studio lost 2.4 million streaming subscribers — and has no plan to end the woke programming that drove them away.
My friend and colleague Lincoln Brown has all the details for you about the layoffs, involving about 3% of the company’s workers.
Do you know who isn’t getting the boot? Disney+ producer Latoya Raveneau, who admits to pushing a “gay agenda” by “adding queerness” to children’s programming wherever she can.
Or Jim Morris, who heads up Disney’s Pixar division. Pixar has been slowly losing steam since Disney purchased the computer animation studio from Steve Jobs in 2006, and its last three films — Luca, Turning Red, and Lightyear — have all been massive flops. Lightyear might have been the worst of the lot. It took a beloved Toy Story bad-ass astronaut whose catchphrase was “To infinity and beyond!” and turned him into an all-too-typical clueless white male clod who couldn’t even successfully leave a single planet.
Or Kathleen Kennedy. She runs the Lucasfilm division, purchased from George Lucas in 2012 for $4 billion. Since then, she’s run the Star Wars franchise into the ground with a combination of bad scripts and “the Force is female” wokeness.
Worse is the damage done and yet to be done to beloved characters like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, who became unrecognizable, unlikeable, and unheroic in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, respectively.
Now there’s this:
One character that has been the focus of discussions about LGBTQ+ representation is Luke Skywalker. In June 2022, a short story was published in Stories of the Jedi and Sith, in which Luke Skywalker was depicted as being attracted to a man. This story is now part of Disney’s Star Wars canon.
“Writer Sam Maggs, hired by Disney’s Star Wars,” the report continues, “openly admits to including queer characters in her work as part of her mission to promote LGBTQ+ representation in the media.”
It’s one thing to include gay characters, whatever. It’s quite another to ret-con a decidedly straight character like Luke just to send a message to old fans. And that message is: “Everything you love, we can destroy.”
ASIDE: The one bright spot left in the Star wars constellation of shows and movies is The Mandalorian, another Disney+ streamer. The show is run by two genuine fans, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. But developments in last year’s lackluster Boba Fett spinoff series — that essentially erased Mando’s much-loved second season — have some fans wondering if even Mando has lost his magic.
Don’t even get me started on the decline and fall of the once-mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). 2019’s Endgame capped an unprecedented series of 23 big-budget action movies. Star Wars, Fast & Furious, nothing else could compare. But instead of letting things end there, the MCU has staggered on with nonsensical sequels that diminished once-mighty heroes (Thor: Love and Thunder) or featured huge casts of people we’d never heard of (The Eternals) and about whom neither the script nor director could make audiences care about. Ticket sales have generally been disappointing at best.
Oops. I guess I got started on the decline and fall of the MCU.
Disney’s problem isn’t that it employs too many people. Disney’s problem is that so much of its content fails to entertain, or is aimed at a tiny segment of angry wokesters instead of at the studio’s very broad, core audience of people under 25.
And their parents, like me.
Disney+ lost $4 billion last year and has very little old-school content in the pipeline to win back audiences and start turning a profit. Audience pleasers like The Mandalorian and Hawkeye are few and far between.
Returning CEO Bob Iger could have fired far fewer people — with much more important jobs — and done far more to turn around the Mouse House’s fading fortunes. Instead, he’s enabling even more of the rot corrupting so many favorite franchises and characters.
It may well be that the layoffs have only just begun.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
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