Walt Fiction


Colin Hart, of the Coalition for Marriage, writes:

Disney is “a company in crisis”, one of its biggest investors has said, after its share price plummeted 40% over the last year. It follows a series of unforced errors, climaxing in its controversial opposition to a proposed Florida law banning teaching LGBT issues to young schoolchildren.

At first the company was wisely reluctant to speak out on the issue. But many staff were unhappy about this and staged walkouts at its theme parks, leading it eventually to bow to pressure and voice opposition to the bill. This prompted a huge political backlash.

Investor Nelson Peltz, who has a $900m stake in the $175bn company, has now demanded a seat on the board after he tore into the management’s track record, saying “the company’s current problems are largely self-inflicted”.

With shares tumbling to an eight-year low, Peltz accused the company of a “lack of cost discipline”, saying “operating performance” has been “disappointing” and cash flow is “deteriorating”.

As Telegraph finance writer Ben Marlow notes “companies who obsess about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues paint a target on their back for disgruntled shareholders, leaving them wide open to accusations that they have taken their eye off the ball”.

I have little sympathy. If this giant corporation slims down or goes bust (rather unlikely) it will be no great loss. Its endless banging of the equality drum is a tedious as it is insincere. My grandmother remembered going to watch Snow White in 1937, which must have been a pleasant break for her father, living as he did between the Great Depression and the Nazification of Europe. Now, Disney sees itself as a champion of dubious ideology, rather than relief from it.

I hope it closes down, for I grow tired of multinational corporations offering lectures on morality and correct attitudes.