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Go Woke, Go Broke? Disney+ Sees Record Loss

Woke Disney
Credit: Digital Trends

Disney+ was supposed to revolutionize how we viewed Disney films and shows. It was supposed to be a Disney lover’s dream come true: the entire Disney catalog all in one place for one price. It didn’t work out that way, though. Many have been disappointed to find their favorite movie or show isn’t available. 

Disney has reported a 4 million subscriber loss to Disney+ this quarter. CEO Bob Iger and CFO Christine McCarthy were incredibly guarded when discussing the loss during yesterday’s earnings call. They claim it was the introduction of the ad tier and associated price increases. That may indeed have had much to do with it, but it cannot be discounted how many people expressed disapproval for Disney’s recent content either. 

Strange World

Credit: Disney

Disney corporate president Karey Burke said that she would like to see at least 50% of Disney’s characters in the future identify as LGBT or a racial minority. Proud Family: Louder and Prouder producer and director Latoya Raveneau is on record saying, “Our leadership … has been so welcoming to my not-at-all secret gay agenda. I don’t have to be afraid to, like, let’s have these two characters kiss in the background. I was just, wherever I could, just basically adding queerness [to projects]. … No one would stop me, and no one was trying to stop me.”

This has led to much outrage amongst many Disney fans. Critics claim Disney has “gone woke” and have even accused Disney of pandering and/or grooming children. Even Florida politicians have gotten involved, calling for fans to boycott. Could this be partly to blame for the massive Disney+ subscriber loss? 

Lightyear

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Disney had some serious box office failures last year. Light Year and Strange World were both massive failures. It could be that Disney+ subscribers just weren’t excited about what Disney had to offer. Then again, these two films, in particular, were heavily criticized for their “woke ideology,” so perhaps it comes full circle.

Is Disney finally paying the piper for alienating the self-named “silent majority?” There is no clear way to answer that question. It’s not something Disney would ever admit, and there has been no “exit data” (reasons for leaving) on Disney+. It could very well be cost-related, as Iger and McCarthy both stated. Time will tell. If a subscriber hemorrhage continues, we can be reasonably confident it wasn’t the price increase.  Those who were going to leave over price already have. 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.