“Don’t Drown Their Children”, ABC Star Slams Bob Iger

Jimmy Kimmel on staage with Bob Iger in the corner
Credit: Disney Dining

It’s hard to think of a time when The Walt Disney Company and ABC were not tied together. However, the news network giant did not officially become a part of the Mouse House until 1996! In the years since its purchase, ABC has become such a core part of Disney, releasing many hit television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Once Upon a Time, The Bachelor, and so many more. And we can’t forget about its top-notch news programming like Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

Once Upon a Time

Credit: ABC

Over the past few years, linear networks (AKA cable and broadcast) have really been struggling. The rise of streaming services has caused networks like ABC to see a big drop in viewership. Money comes from the ad revenue generated by the people who tune in, so, if they aren’t watching, the networks aren’t making money.

Last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger sent a ripple of panic through ABC when rumors began circulating that he was planning on selling ABC. Iger never confirmed he was considering selling, but he did receive a $10 billion offer from media mogul Byron Allen. A sale never happened, but that doesn’t mean that those who work for ABC have forgiven or forgotten.

good morning america

Credit: Disney/ABC

Related: Viewers Stunned as Popular ABC Star Is Suddenly Fired

On May 14, Disney held its annual upfront in New York City, where advertisers were given a sneak peek at ABC’s upcoming lineup of shows. ABC star Jimmy Kimmel, known for his bracing humor, hosted the upfront. The ABC upfront presentation was filled with hilarious moments, but Kimmel also used his time to go after Bob Iger for the way Disney handled the potential sale of the news giant.

Jimmy Kimmel

Credit: Disney/ABC

Kimmel said that Iger should be retired and accused him of “drowning the children.”

“Bob Iger should be retired by now, he should be off on a yacht somewhere. Instead he’s here pretending to be excited about a new season of Will-Fucking-Trent. Bob tried to sell us last year, he put us up for sale, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, no one wanted to buy us. When no one was interested, Bob explained that he didn’t mean he literally wanted to sell us, he was just testing the waters for Wall Street. You know, Bob, when people test the waters, they usually dip in a toe, they don’t drown their children.”

He also called out Disney — and other streaming services — for destroying what made streaming unique, no advertising. When streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ launched, subscribers would pay a very reasonable price for a quality product. Now, most streamers are charging more for ad-free options, if not getting rid of those tiers altogether.

Bob Iger salary revealed walt disney company department of justice

Credit: Disney

Related: Disgraced ABC Star Promises to Sue Disney

Kimmel said:

“We are bundling and while from the outside this may look like an act of desperation, from the inside, it also looks like that. We didn’t want to bundle, we had to — like when you’re freezing to death and it’s so cold you have to get into a sleeping bag with your uncle so you don’t die. That’s us. You’ve seen our churn rates. This is not just churn. It’s Chernobyl. Now finally our users can turn on their TV and get all the channels in one package for one price all supported by ads. We call it ‘basic cable’ and it’s gonna blow your mind. We’re consolidating. We are building one enormous ad-supported streaming pile of shit.”

“It must be a good idea because it’s already getting copycats. Netflix, Apple and Peacock just announced their new bundle StreamSaver today. What an excellent name. StreamSaver sounds like a catheter you might find for sale on”

Disney+ Hulu

Credit: Disney

Disney offers subscribers a service that is known as the Disney Bundle, which is either Disney+ and Hulu or Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. The company also recently announced a new Disney/Hulu and Max (HBO) Bundle. Not long after, Comcast announced its own Peacock/Netflix/Apple TV bundle. And, let’s be honest, all of these new bundles sound a heck of a lot like cable.

Before the upfront, Disney and ABC announced the renewal of several shows, including The Bachelor, Golden Bachelor, American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and Shark Tank. They also announced that the sitcom Not Dead Yet was canceled after two seasons and the hit show The Conners would end after season seven.

Are you glad that Disney decided not to sell ABC? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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