An Open Letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger: Please Don’t Dilute the Disney Brand!
By the Editors of Movieguide®
Dear Bob Iger,
Congratulations on securing Disney’s $52 billion-dollar deal to buy 21st Century Fox. This is a major milestone for the company financially and creatively. One thing you said in a call with your investors, however, has us and many families around the world worried.
With this acquisition of Fox, Disney will own the rights to superhero characters such as Deadpool and other “Hard-R-Rated” properties. You said that “there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like DEADPOOL.” Is this true? Is Disney going to release movies, like DEADPOOL, that feature jokes about child molestation, encourages murder and mocks an elderly blind person?
We understand the need to grow a company, but Walt Disney, the man who started the company you now run, once said, “The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together. That’s the backbone of our whole business, catering to families.”
Disney is worth billions of dollars not because it caters to adult entertainment. It’s a billion-dollar company because it has brilliantly attracted adults and teenagers, not just parents with young children, toward family entertainment. Is it worth diluting a brand going back almost 100 years in order to make more money?
Families are the core of Disney’s business model. You yourself once said, “People go to Disney because they know its brand attributes.” Under your continued leadership with Fox’s assets, will Disney still provide safe, family-friendly entertainment? Or, do people need to be concerned about DEADPOOL exhibits popping up all over Disneyland and Disney World? Will Disney tolerate vulgar humor like this from its stars? Will Disney movies contain graphic violence and lurid sex scenes?
We hope that instead of changing the mission and values of Disney to allow for R-rated content, you’ll change the content to reflect the values of the millions of families that enjoy Disney products on a regular basis. There’s a wonderful legacy of family-friendly entertainment at Disney that rewards people with laughter, hope and joy, and that offers romance rather than sex, action rather than violence and language honoring God instead of evil. It would be a shame to see that brand diluted, or, even worse, disappear.