The Walt Disney Co. continues to take a beating from its political sparring with Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and GOP state lawmakers.
As The Washington Times reported Wednesday, Disney’s brand “didn’t quite go from hero to zero last year, but consumers evidently became less enchanted with the entertainment giant as it tangled over politics” with DeSantis.
The source for the Times’ observation was the annual Axios Harris Poll 100.
The poll is a public opinion survey that gathers how aware Americans are of certain corporate brands that “either excel or falter in society,” according to Axios. Respondents rate these 100 “most visible companies” by the perception of their reputations, as based on seven different factors.
Two different groups determine the rankings. The first selects two companies with the best reputations, and two with the worst. The top 100 end up on a single list, which are then graded by a second group, which this year totaled nearly 33,100 people.
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Topping the list were Trader Joe’s and HEB Grocery, both of which scored above 82 on the Axios Harris scale.
Disney ranked 65th.
That was a drop of 28 spots from where the company was in last year’s poll.
Only two companies fell further. Spectrum plunged 71 spots, while Pfizer fell 37.
Viewed differently, Disney tied with the Trump Organization with the biggest percentage drop – 4.3 percent – from their scores last year, the Times reported.
Regarding Disney, the pollster noted that the company ranked 80th in trust, 72nd in ethics, 71st in “culture,” 62nd in citizenship, 58th in vision and 52nd in growth.
Its best ranking was a 44th-place finish in products and service.
Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema told the Times, “Disney’s about-face shows the reputational hit that comes when the public perceives you as being calculating rather than clear in what you believe in and stand for.”
Andrew Crapuchettes, CEO of the job-site firm RedBalloon, told the Times that the poll indicates “Disney needs to be aware of their entire customer base and stakeholders.”
“For too long, Disney has only acknowledged one side of their shareholders and customer base,” Crapuchettes said in a statement. “Woke corporations are learning that when they speak out on social issues, they are incurring a monetary risk.”
“The conservative majority of this country has remained silent for a while,” he added. “Now that they have spoken up, companies like … Disney may become more centrist.”
The Axios Harris survey is the third recent indicator of how Disney’s reputation has suffered after tangling with DeSantis and GOP lawmakers over the Parental Rights in Education law, which bans school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans centered on sexual oritentation and gender identity.
After DeSantis enacted the law, Disney vowed to have it repealed in the Legislature or overturned in the courts.
As The Free Press reported last week, an NBC News poll found that just 33 percent of respondents held a “very” or “somewhat” positive view of Disney. That was down from 56 percent a year ago.
Meanwhile, Disney’s stock price on Thursday came in at $105 a share, down from $156 a share a year ago.