Disney Shows It Has Not Learned a Thing - Amid Losses the Company Hails New Diversity Production Partnerships

(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

In an announcement of its upcoming projects, Disney does not tout its content but instead leans heavily into inclusion.

It is fascinating to sit back and watch an entrenched company endure a series of significant setbacks only to take a path of continued poor decisions. CNN has been on such a course, as its ratings have plummeted by over 90 percent since the 2020 election. Currently, Anheuser-Busch is enduring a market crash and trying to cope its way out of its PR disaster. Then there is the Walt Disney Company, which had a horrific 2022 but shows no sign of course correction.


Instead, we see the studio digging in further with its stance.

We have covered extensively here the many ways Disney endured a self-created crisis last year after deciding to wade into Florida state politics. Its public stance fell, many of its films and shows faltered or failed, and the stock was rocked by huge losses on Wall Street. They dispatched CEO Bob Chapek and have been running through a series of significant layoffs. Yet, despite all the signs it has been making the wrong decisions regarding policy and its content, we now get wind the company intends to keep going down this path.

The current writers’ strike in Hollywood has impacted the annual practice of networks and studios providing the Upfronts. This is a time when the majors roll out their schedules of programming for the coming year in order to court advertisers, but this year, the presentations have been truncated due to the strike. (Some, like Paramount, have scrapped their presentation entirely.) But ahead of Tuesday’s presentation by the House of Mouse, there was an announced partnering with a number of diversity-focused content producers.

The four production shingles — Cocina (a unit of Mecenas Media), Equalpride, Group Black, and UnitedMasters — are being brought in to deliver focused content for specific demographics. This, despite the fact that Disney incurred a number of significant losses last year with content that highlighted or even focused on woke characters and storylines with its offerings.


As part of these agreements, each company will develop custom short- or long-form branded content series and campaigns for advertisers, with the projects focusing on amplifying various aspects of diversity and culture. 

Despite past results, and continuing controversy over injecting offerings with social messaging, Disney is still on the throttle when it comes to virtue activism, woke culture, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.

John Campbell, svp, client partnerships, Disney Advertising, noted that the new deals are keeping with Disney’s commitment to DEI.

Disney is doing this as there is mounting criticism regarding DEI as a prevailing force among businesses and institutions. Amid the layoffs being experienced across the media spectrum, DEI officers are a significant part of the purges. The need to streamline and become efficient is a concept that many feel is being worked against with the policies and requirements these woke mandates deliver. Some outfits, such as Texas A&M University as one example, are looking to scrap DEI initiatives after experiencing the polar opposite of the intended results these programs were promised to deliver.

Yet here is Disney, even as it is culling jobs at a high rate, showing adherence to DEI compliance. The company has taken this as far as placing the request upon advertisers, as its negotiations with advertisers have included meeting a specific amount of “multicultural ad buys.” It borders on amazing to see this insistence, both in the face of industry constriction and DEI being shown as a drain on corporate operations, as well as Disney itself facing down a year of its content being rejected for these very components. But the company is displaying stark obliviousness. Or, delusions.


“We’re all in the business of reaching audiences, and if you’re not reaching all audiences, you’re missing out on effectively running your business and selling whatever product you’re looking to sell,” Campbell said. “We’ve been in the engagement business for 100 years at Disney. And we just want to make sure that we’re engaging with everybody authentically.” 

In the effort to “reach all audiences,” they have to ignore the audiences they drove away. Last summer, “Lightyear” was a significant failure. “She-Hulk” delivered some of the worst streaming numbers for the company’s Disney+ service. Last fall, the holiday release “Strange World” was a consummate failure in theaters, losing about $200 million. These, and a number of other streaming titles, have been regarded as dismal options as woke culture and diversity casting was prominently featured over story and solid character.

Disney Florida
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

It is bewildering to see these Utopian fantasies being applied as the company is facing some dire reality. Its streaming service has shed subscribers over two quarters, losing four million customers. There is now the proposal to fold Hulu into Disney+ as another means of streamlining operations. More layoffs will be enforced in the coming weeks, as the company is looking to cut $5.5 billion, with over half of that total coming from the content side of the company.


Regardless of the glaring amount of red on the balance sheet, the company seems to only see rose-colored returns with its woke intentions.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos