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“DeSantis Made Me!” Cries Disney

Posted May 22, 2023

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

“DeSantis Made Me!” Cries Disney

Good morning from a soggy but sunny Asti.

We’ve had crazy amounts of rain in Italy. You may have read about the floods in Emilia-Romagna. Luckily, we haven’t been hit here in Asti. But the ground needs a respite to soak up all the water before more rain comes.

I landed in Italy on Friday. I’ve never been so grateful. Delta switched out our plane at the last minute for a vintage model. I wasn’t sure if we’d make it all the way across the Atlantic. I think I heard Princess Leia ask, “Would you like me to get out and push?”

But we made it without incident, thankfully. Pam picked me up at Milan Malpensa airport, and then we drove 90 minutes to our apartment. My days and nights are still upside down, but I’ll get over it.

And I’m still missing my Paradigm peeps and looking forward to our next offsite!

Of course, when I checked my Twitter feed, various bits of nonsense were scrolling before my eyes.

But the biggest load of horsefeathers came from leftist Twitter, supposedly celebrating how Disney halted a $1 billion investment in Orlando and a 2,000-person move from California.

Liars. Yes, they are liars.

How do I know this? One, DIS’s financials aren’t what they used to be. And two, the YouTubers have been killing DIS for ages now.

YouTubers Know All

Pam and I often watch YouTube to escape when we’re not traveling. We’ll watch videos of all the places we want to go to… and the places we’ve been if we feel nostalgic.

The other big thing I watch YouTube for are the movie trailers and reviews. And there are no better reviewers than Nerdrotic, The Critical Drinker, and Ryan Kinel.

They have pilloried DIS for their awful live-action remakes, ignored lore, and politicized screenwriting.

Much of what I write about today comes from their research. I thank them wholeheartedly for their hard work.

But first, let’s recap the “feud.”

DeSantis Pulls Disney’s Special District… and Then Gives It Back.

I’ll do this in bullet points to make the chronology easier.

  1. In March 2022, the governor signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Act, often referred to by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This perfectly sensible legislation prohibited classroom instruction and discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in lower elementary school grades.
  1. Disney said nothing, which pissed off its employees. Next, then-CEO Bob Chapek made a cringe, groveling apology to his employees and promised to be a better ally. He was later fired anyway.
  1. DIS’s special district, formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, allowed the theme park to make its own decisions on the planning and permitting process for construction on its property, to levy taxes to pay for its own fire and medical response services, and even to generate some of its electricity. This saved the company untold millions.
  1. DeSantis pulled the special district from Disney… until he realized taxpayers in Orange and Osceola Counties would have to pay for Disney World services like fire protection, policing, and road maintenance. The district also carried roughly $1 billion in bond debt, which would have been transferred to the counties.
  1. So… DIS still has its district, renamed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. But Governor DeSantis appoints the members of the tax district’s five-member oversight board.
  1. DIS rewrote some covenants into the new agreement that circumvented the new board’s power.
  1. The State of Florida nullified the agreement.

Then, on May 17th, DIS canceled a long-planned office complex and a move of 2,000 California-based employees to Florida.

Of course, the left media blamed this on DeSantis.

But DeSantis spokesman, Jerry Redfern, kicked Disney right in the goolies.

He said, “Given the company's financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.”


Is Redfern correct?

Yes, I think he is.

Iger, Feige, and Kennedy Are Still in Their Seats

Last November, I wrote, “Disney Should’ve Fired Feige and Kennedy, Too!

I stand by that post and would double down.

Bob Iger was reinstated as CEO when Chapek was fired. Iger had been the Executive Chairman after vacating the CEO’s seat in 2020, leaving Chapek to hold the COVID bag.

Kevin Feige is a spent force. Marvel Phase 4 sucked.

And Kathleen Kennedy doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground. It proves that just because you were Spielberg’s secretary doesn’t mean you’ll become Spielberg one day.

She’s just awful. The Force is not, in fact, female. The Force is something Kennedy doesn’t feel at all.

Her next plan is for yet another Rey Palpatine/Skywalker movie no one wants, needs, or asked for.

And we haven’t even gotten to Pixar, 20th Century Fox, or the rest of DIS’s holdings.

But let’s get financial. Look at this chart.


You don’t need to be a technical analyst to see that the chart goes from the upper left to the lower right.

DIS stock lost 44% in 2022. It’s up about $4 year-to-date.

Disney Plus lost 4 million subscribers in the last three months.

Willow and many other titles are gone.

Hulu and ESPN+ are unprofitable.

Allegedly, Disney Plus lost the rights to the Indian Premier League (Cricket) in 2022. Somehow, that loss is only hitting them now. Outside of India, the subscriber count grew by 600,000.

Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm should be written down.

These pieces of intellectual property aren’t worth what they used to be. But to write them down would be an enormous admission of failure.

It’s scary, but have a look at these stinkers:

Pixar and Disney Animation

Pixar’s Lightyear was just one big flop. The movie, about the Toy Story character, just wasn’t what Toy Story fans wanted. It lost $106 million.

Worse was Walt Disney Animation’s Strange Worlds. That lost $197.4 million. I know. I haven’t heard of it, either.


All girls and no boys make the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a dull world.

It seems no one watched Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, or Hawkeye (which was more about Clint Barton’s replacement than his character).

The Marvels movie will surely flop, as did Black Widow, Shang Chi, and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 was supposed to be the “big win” Disney needed to get the MCU back on track. It has grossed about $657 million worldwide.

But with Fast X in the theaters now, it’ll have a tough time getting to $800 million.

Star Wars

I won’t write about the woeful sequel trilogy. It sucked, and the world knows it. As do most of the Disney Plus Star Wars shows like The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

But Disney has now decided to nix the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Disney World. From The New York Post:

Fans reacted to Disney’s decision to shutter its ultra-expensive Star Wars-themed luxury hotel, which boasted rooms that ranged from $6,000 for a two-night stay for a family of four to an eye-popping $20,000 for a “tricked-out suite.”

The “Star Wars” Galactic Starcruiser hotel, which opened in March 2022 at Disney World, said Thursday it will close its doors on Sept. 28 — less than two years after opening — amid struggles to fill the 100-room facility.

One user on Reddit said: “Hmmmm…so you mean to tell me that Disney opened a crappy, cinder-block hotel filled with bad cosplay, cheap sets, silly acting theatre, basic arcade games, cell-like beds, and bland space windows, charged $5,000+ for a two-night stay…and somehow, this did not attract the average person into purchasing said experience enough to keep it afloat?”

Kathleen Kennedy destroyed this intellectual property.

Indiana Jones

Speaking of Kennedy destroying IP, Indiana Jones is next.

Harrison Ford got an emotional standing ovation before the movie began. The ovation for the film itself was tepid at best.

Bored viewers were whispering in French throughout the showing.

That’s what happens when you start the movie with a drunk Indiana Jones looking over his divorce papers.

An 80-year-old getting divorced in 1969? Piss off…

The live-action remakes are awful.

From The Little Mermaid to Peter Pan and Wendy to Aladdin, the live-action remakes are primarily flops.

They’re made for modern audiences, except no one wants to watch them today, especially when overconfident writers change the plot completely.

Wrap Up

Disney is producing crap content, and it’s paying for it. Put simply, not as many people watch Disney shows and films as they once did.

Blaming DeSantis for canceling a move is cunning, designed to take the heat off.

But ultimately, it’s untrue.

DIS just has bigger fish to fry, and it’s got to conserve as much cash as possible. Office moves are luxuries, not necessities.

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