Angry Americans Putting Pressure On Disney During Holiday Season

Disney is down in the dumps as Americans continue to use their wallets to make their opinion heard about the recent decisions that the entertainment giant has made. With streaming subscribers down and multiple films this year opening to abysmal box office returns, CEO Bob Iger was forced to offer some words to his employees to keep spirits high during this holiday season.

Iger hosted a town hall in which he, along with the moderating help of ABC news anchor David Muir, discussed the current storm that the company is trying to weather with Disney employees. When asked if his return to managing the Disney brand has been a challenge, Iger quickly answered yes in a transcript published by Variety.

He said, “I knew that there were myriad challenges that I would face coming back. I won’t say that it was easy, but I’ve never second guessed the decision to come back, and being back still feels great.” The Christian Post attributes this “Myriad” of challenges to the millions of Americans who became upset last year after Disney’s public reputation was destroyed amid battles over a parenting rights law.

Iger clearly can see this weighing heavily on his employees, so in an attempt to rally the troops, he said, “I talk about optimism being an extraordinarily important trait of a leader, because no one wants to follow a pessimist. But I also believe that hopeless optimism doesn’t do anybody any good. I have, I think, real reason — and we have real reason as Disney — to be optimists, and it starts with the fact that we’re Disney.”

Leaning on the fact that Disney is one of the most powerful names in Disney is a good start to getting his rank-and-file employees back to an optimistic mindset about the company’s future at a time when the brand seems to be tanking in public opinion. Meanwhile, the next step may be for the brand to return to creating content as if it were old Disney, focusing on entertainment more than social impact.

In a report to the SEC, Disney alluded to that exact sentiment, explaining that their views may have gone so far against the grain as to hurt the company’s bottom line. They said that they “face risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer tastes for entertainment, travel and consumer products, which impact demand for our entertainment offerings and products and the profitability of any of our businesses.”

One employee spoke about the meeting in a piece published by Variety in which they talked about what the takeaway would be for Disney’s employees. The employee said, “The biggest takeaway was moving on from the fixing phase and to the building phase, which was a huge part of the conversation.”

With the company looking toward the future now and looking to rebuild its image, and a recognition that virtue signaling may have been a negative move for the company, this meeting is sparking optimism for fans of Disney who have been left to wonder if the brand would ever return to the beloved company that so many Americans used to love.