There are many in the right who feel we’re not making progress. Given that the political milieu hasn’t budged since the inauguration of the Usurper-in-Chief, I can understand the feeling. But in point of fact, we’re advancing “upstream,” in the battle over the culture:
“Entertain first, not messages,” Iger said at something called the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. He added that “positive messages for the world” are great but shouldn’t be forced on the public or used as the story’s primary job.
Iger claimed (falsely) that Disney’s propagandizing got worse after he left the CEO position and handed the reigns to Bob Chapek in early 2020. The board booted Chapek in 2022 and put Iger back in charge. Iger is contracted through 2026.
Iger also said Disney produces too many sequels. Going forward, the sequel must work as a standalone movie before it will be greenlit.
I’ll believe this change will happen when I see it, but even if Iger’s lying (and I think he is), it is still a total surrender. It might only be a rhetorical surrender, but it proves Iger understands the necessity of sending the message to tens of millions of normal people that he wants another chance. We screwed up. We know we screwed up. We’re sorry. Come back, Baby. Please, please come back.
We know what happens when Baby comes back. She gets slapped again.
There are things in there that clash with the opening admission: in particular, Iger’s pitiful attempt at self-exculpation, and commentator John Nolte’s cynicism about what’s really to come from Disney. But in point of fact, it’s Iger’s admission that he’d sold out Disney’s storytelling heritage for (as another wag put it long ago) “a pot of message” that matters most.
Entertainment must entertain. You’d think it’s obvious. Well, there we go again, imagining that what’s obvious to sane and rational persons of ordinary attainments must also be obvious to the captains of industry. But it is not so. Plain truths recognized by Us the Hoi Polloi are never respected by persons with swollen egos…and the egos of the CEOs of the world are as monstrous as they come.
In a sense, it’s just one more episode in the Schumpeterian march of “creative destruction.” They who fail must give way to others who might do better. The failure of contemporary entertainment is open for all to see. Why else would independent creators, who have been disdained by the entertainment industry’s gatekeepers, be beating those Established Ones in volume of sales and aggregate revenues?
It’s a heartening thing. I’ll bet the soul of Andrew Breitbart is chuckling over it, too.
The cultural battle is more important than the explicitly political one. The culture war is essentially over whether truth is a matter of opinion. Not even majority opinion, mind you. The noisy minority of “woke” activists has endeavored to force its lunacies on the rest of us by sheer volume of venomous shrillness. And yes, for a while it looked bad. But the worm has turned; normal people able to see the world as it is have risen up on their hind legs. Ask Anheuser-Busch and Target.
Of course, we must remain alert and aware. The Left’s cultural forces are wounded, lessened, but they have not yet surrendered. I doubt they have the moral clarity to recognize defeat and admit to their errors. For better or worse, this is war to the knife: we must insist on unconditional surrender and a cultural Nuremburg tribunal in the aftermath.
I suppose this is a longwinded way of merely saying We’re winning. Keep the pressure up. Yet that’s all I have to say. Patronize only those media and those entertainers who never spit upon your values nor insist that black is really white. The goal line might be only mistily visible, but we’re advancing toward it nevertheless. Don’t be one of those who, as they glimpsed victory, sat to rest, and while resting, died.
Have a nice day.