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May 02, 2022

WSJ: CEOs Are Now Worrying, How Can We Avoid Becoming the Next Disney?

Finally, conservatives have begun imposing a cost on the formerly cost-free move of attacking conservatives.

Not "Republicans." Mitch McConnell still applauds.

In private meetings and coaching sessions over the past few weeks, top business leaders have been asking a version of the same question: How can we avoid becoming the next Walt Disney Co. ?

The fallout from the recent political spat between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has alarmed leaders across the corporate sphere, according to executives and their advisers, and heightened the challenges for chief executive officers navigating charged topics.

At many companies, vocal employees have in recent years pushed bosses to take public stands on social and political issues. Florida's pushback against Disney has raised the stakes.

"The No. 1 concern CEOs have is, 'When should I speak out on public issues?' " said Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic PLC and now a senior fellow at Harvard Business School. "As one CEO said to me, 'I want to speak out on social issues, but I don't want to get involved in politics.' Which I said under my breath, 'That's not possible.' "

Some executives might be relieved. The old idea that CEOs should focus on shareholder returns and stay out of politics lingers in some corporate suites, even in a politicized age of public social-media discussions and more-activist workforces.


David Berger, a partner who specializes in corporate governance at law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, said politicians seem increasingly comfortable taking on business when it is advantageous for them. "It used to be that Republicans especially--but both parties--liked big business," he said. "And now what you're seeing is both parties like to use big business as political footballs one way or the other."


Democrats also have criticized companies. President Biden, facing heat on inflation, has accused meat and oil companies of price gouging.

But Disney's recent experience in Florida has captured the attention of C-suite executives at companies big and small, given the impact on its operations, many say.

"I think probably anybody sitting in a leadership role follows it to some degree," said Julie Schertell, chief executive of Alpharetta, Ga.-based manufacturing company.

Good. You should be worried about us.

You will be made to care.

Kurt Schlichter just wrote about this.

Liberal Corporations Are Confused and Scared Because Conservatives Now Fight Back


Disney thought it was going to win, because, you know, Republicans like big companies and defer to them and, well, no. That's not us anymore. After years of big companies leveraging their power to screw us over, from the NFL to Delta to Coke, now we're over it. They are free to use their power -- a potent cocktail of cultural, economic, and political power -- as they see fit. And so are we. We have freed ourselves of the arbitrary rules that formerly prevented us from responding with our own brand of power -- which is a little bit economic but mostly political -- to fight back.


The fretting conservatives, some in good faith and others because they are worthless and weak, claim to worry that this is some grand violation of our principles. It is certainly not a violation of my principles, starting with this one: If you hit me, I will hit you back twice as hard and then kick your quivering body. One problem with so much of blue check conservative Twitter is that so many of those who would presume to lead us into battle have never been in a fistfight. I have no use for anyone who has never gotten in a brawl and lost -- and I prefer ones who have experience winning too.

We're told that for some reason we are obliged not to use our most effective strength, our primary mode of power, in support of our interests. What we are never told is why that is true. Where we hold the government, we need to use it to deter corporate intervention -- when did conservatism drop the concepts of deterrence and righteous retribution? We believe that for criminals who wrong us, and we need to apply them to others who do so as well, including companies. And there's a track record of not using our power, manifesting in the current crisis. We have seen what not fighting back does, what substituting conservative cliches for conservative ass-kicking has got us. So, what's the alternative they suggest? We tried doing nothing and that didn't work. Maybe do nothing twice as hard?

From Forbes last year: How many times is Disney going to introduce their "first gay character?"

Disney's upcoming Cruella, a live-action origin story for the iconic antagonist of 101 Dalmatians, is being praised for featuring Disney's first gay character.

It's a familiar milestone for the company, as Disney has pioneered their "first" gay character at least 7 times, give or take; Onward, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Cruise, The Rise of Skywalker, Zootopia, Toy Story 4, and Avengers: Endgame all feature minor characters who make exceedingly subtle references hinting at same-sex attraction.

Conveniently, these minuscule slivers of LGBTQ representation are so brief, so utterly irrelevant to the plot of these films, that they can be easily edited out for socially conservative audiences, as was the case with the quick lesbian kiss from The Rise Of Skywalker.

Pro-LGBTQ press outlets, starved for representation, will either cheer Disney's cautious baby steps towards inclusion, or criticize the company's cynicism.

None of these queer background characters really stick around in collective memory long enough to make an impression, hence, each time Disney pulls the same trick, it is heralded as the "first."

Who will be the first gay Disney character that actually survives to appear in the Chinese cut of the movie?

Sarah Z @marysuewriter

the year is 2084. disney has just released its fourth live action remake of pixar classic the good dinosaur. headlines speculate that a cgi background character, who stands next to another dinosaur who appears vaguely masculine presenting, will be disney's first gay character

Here's another question: Why are gay activists so determined that Disney include gay characters in entertainment meant for very young children?

digg this
posted by Ace at 07:47 PM

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