The news keeps getting worse for the Walt Disney Co.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that the entertainment giant plans to cut 7,000 jobs in an effort to hack $5.5 billion in costs from its bottom line.
“While this is necessary to address the challenges we’re facing today, I do not make this decision lightly,” CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call with analysts, according to the Times.
“I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide, and I’m mindful of the personal impact of these changes.”
As the Times noted, “The belt-tightening underscores the extraordinary difficulties Disney and other media giants face as they reckon with the realities of streaming economics — which have proved more vexing than many anticipated — and the challenges facing Iger, who took over from ousted CEO Bob Chapek in November.”
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“Disney is facing pressure to control costs and boost profits as it continues to lose money from its key streaming business, which includes Disney+.”
Disney plans to cut jobs from across the company, the Times reported. The announcement comes as Disney lost $1 billion and more than 2 million subscribers to its streaming service in its first fiscal quarter.
Disney has returned more value to its shareholders of late. Its stock price closed at $112 on Wednesday. That’s up $28 a share since it bottomed out right after Christmas.
That occurred right after Iger took over for Chapek and pledged to reel in Disney’s political involvement.
Still, Disney is down roughly $40 a share from a year ago, when it first waded into the culture war against Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s Parental Rights in Education law.
The law bans school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans rooted in gender ideology and sexual orientation in grades K-3. After it passed, Disney vowed to have it repealed in the Legislature or overturned in the courts.
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Instead, DeSantis and Republicans in the Legislature responded with a bill to strip Disney of the special governing district that had jurisdiction over its properties for 55 years. That was to take effect in July.
This week, contrary to claims in the liberal media last year that DeSantis would backtrack on divesting Disney of its home-rule exception, lawmakers put the finishing touches on a bill that would give DeSantis authority to appoint the board over that jurisdiction.
Disney has alienated many Republicans and everyday Americans with its deep dive into wokeness, with movies and programs that promote the LGBTQ agenda.
Recently, a clip of a Disney+ show, “The Proud Family,” was circulating on social media with criticism that it was “anti-white.”
In the animated show, the characters sing a song in which they maintain that America has not atoned for slavery, that descendants of slaves are owed reparations, and that slaves “built America.”
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