The Walt Disney Company recently admitted that wokeness and culture wars have had major impacts across the board on the multinational entertainment and media conglomerate. Disney also warned investors that the company’s wokeness presents risks to its “reputation and brands.”
Last week, the Walt Disney Company filed its annual financial report with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30. The report detailed the performance of the variety of its properties for the last fiscal year as well as potential future risks for the worldwide entertainment company.
The SEC filing revealed that Disney employs roughly 225,000 workers worldwide. The company notes that it has a “key human capital management objective” of “making the workplace more engaging and inclusive” and creating a more “diverse workforce.”
Disney’s “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” objectives include “building teams that reflect the life experiences of our audiences, while employing and supporting a diverse array of voices in our creative and production teams.”
The Walt Disney Company also plans on “amplifying underrepresented voices” under its DE&I initiatives.
Disney said the company’s revenues for fiscal 2023 were $88.9 billion – an increase of 7% versus 2022.
However, Disney slashed spending on content and staff.
In the past year, Disney cut spending on film and TV content from $29.8 billion to $27.2. Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said earlier this month that he aims to cut total spending on content to $25 billion next year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Deadline reported, “Efforts to rein in content costs have been accompanied by broader cuts of staff and other expenses, with some $7.5 billion in cost savings already recorded.”
The entertainment behemoth said it had taken in more revenue from streaming services than from traditional broadcast TV for the first time ever.
Disney suffered a 14% decrease in domestic advertising revenue due to fewer impressions.
Disney revealed that ESPN subscribers decreased by 7% from the previous year.
The company noted that costs of products have increased by 11% – in part due to inflation.
Walt Disney Company admitted that engaging in culture wars has inflicted major impacts across the board.
“We face risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment, travel and consumer products, which impact demand for our entertainment offerings and products and the profitability of any of our businesses,” the SEC filing stated. “Our businesses create entertainment, travel and consumer products whose success depends substantially on consumer tastes and preferences that change in often unpredictable ways.”
Disney said the “misalignment” with its consumers has impacted “broadcast, cable, theaters, internet or mobile technology, and used in theme park attractions, hotels and other resort facilities and travel experiences and consumer products.”
Disney said its products are sometimes “introduced into a significantly different market or economic or social climate from the one we anticipated at the time of the investment decisions.”
The entertainment conglomerate confessed that its environmental and social goals present “risks.”
“Further, consumers’ perceptions of our position on matters of public interest, including our efforts to achieve certain of our environmental and social goals, often differ widely and present risks to our reputation and brands,” Disney admitted. “Consumer tastes and preferences impact, among other items, revenue from advertising sales (which are based in part on ratings for the programs in which advertisements air), affiliate fees, subscription fees, theatrical film receipts, the license of rights to other distributors, theme park admissions, hotel room charges and merchandise, food and beverage sales, sales of licensed consumer products or sales of our other consumer products and services.”
Disney said its leisure business is affected by various factors, including health concerns and the political environment.
In March, Disney inserted itself into the debate over Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill on March 28.
Jumping into the political arena proved costly for the House of Mouse as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fired back, and revoked the Walt Disney Company’s special district status in the state.
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