Did Disney’s Bob Iger Just Cry Uncle? (It’s Complicated)

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Here we go again.

Every few weeks we get a new message from Disney, Inc. about the company’s lurch to the Left.

In September, Disney CEO Bob Iger vowed to lower the volume on the culture wars. Just earlier this week, we learned the company admitted its progressive policies are hurting profits with little promise of addressing the issue.

“For shareholders, it may seem counterintuitive that corporate executives would trade off profits for political or social agendas. However, it does serve as a rationale for individual corporate executives who are professionally advanced when they champion such causes,” Jonathan Turley wrote.

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Now, Iger’s most recent statement suggests the powerful CEO has seen enough. This comes courtesy of World of Reel, citing information from CNBC’s Alex Sherman.

Iger blamed the creators at Disney for losing sight of what their jobs should be — he explained that it got worse when he left as CEO/Chairman. In his own words, Iger says “entertain first, not messages”. He adds that stories infused with “positive messages for the world” can be great, but that it shouldn’t be forced upon an audience.

Did Iger watch “South Park” like the rest of us?

The Paramount+ show’s “Joining the Panderverse” episode skewered Disney for its woke makeover.

South Park: Joining the Panderverse | First Look Clip | Paramount+

Iger’s new comments are the most powerful signal that the CEO finally understands Disney’s progressive shift hurt its bottom line.

Bigly.

Box office flop after flop after flop after flop, for starters. Disney+ is still losing subscribers and money. Bulletproof franchises like “Star Wars” and the MCU no longer command respect like they once did.

Except Iger’s past signals didn’t result in real change within the company. At least not yet.

The latest Iger confession could be a response to activist investor Nelson Peltz’s quest to grab more Disney board seats in the new year. Peltz wants the once beloved company to return to its family-friendly, apolitical roots.

Peltz’s Trian Partners said Thursday morning that, having not received a warm welcome from Disney’s board of directors or from CEO Bob Iger, “Trian intends to take our case for change directly to shareholders.”

Plus, Disney recently yanked advertising from X, Elon Musk’s free speech friendlier version of Twitter.

That’s an overtly political move. 

Musk is a left-leaning soul, but he’s been drifting to the Right given the Left’s quest to silence free speech. Iger’s Disney followed a false narrative that Musk is an anti-semite and pulled ads from the platform in response.

Meanwhile, TikTok promotes Osama bin Laden’s rhetoric and other social media giants teem with hateful content.

Why single out X?

We know why. Iger and co. haven’t gotten politics out of their system yet. Talk is talk until we see real action behind it. The ball’s in your court, Mr. Iger.

There’s another factor in play.

Iger may have political ambitions for his post-Disney career. He’s vowed to step aside, permanently this time, as CEO in 2026.

What happens next?

Iger’s ties to the Democratic Party are deep. His ABC network protected the Clintons during “The Path to 9/11” release debacle. The Democrat field has no clear presidential favorites beyond Joe Biden.

Could Iger step into that void following the 2024 elections? He once dreamed about doing just that.

“I think that America is gravely in need of optimism, of looking at the future and believing that so many things are going to be all right, or that we as a nation can attack some of the most critical problems of our day,” he told Laurene Powell Jobs in 2019 at an ideas conference.

Lately, he’s dropped such talk. Bringing Disney back from the brink is his main focus today.

Still, the CEO’s ability to say multiple things at once and flip flop on key positions suggests he’s primed for a political career.

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