Disney pulled from state’s investment list over “far-left” activism

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis yanked The Walt Disney Company from the state’s approved investment list on Tuesday, citing the company’s “far-left” activism.

Loftis wrote in a statement that “Disney has abandoned its fiduciary responsibilities to its investors and customers by joining far-left activists in boycotting legal, taxpaying, employment-creating corporations to further Disney’s political agenda.”

The South Carolina State Treasurer’s Office portfolio includes $105 million of Disney debt instruments that will mature over the next several months, after which they will not be replaced. 

“I think it’s clear to anybody paying attention that there’s a structural rot inside of Disney,” Loftis told Fox News Digital on Thursday. 

He added that Disney’s embrace of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) guidance led to the ruination of the entertainment company.

“People sometimes forget that ESG has nothing to do with investing. ESG is a speech and behavior code that was created by the left and delivered to everybody else under these virtuous circumstances, or presumed circumstances,” Loftis said. 

DISNEY ACKNOWLEDGES FINANCIAL FALLOUT OVER CULTURE WARS IN SEC FILING

The Walt Disney Company recently admitted that its relentless promotion of woke ideology hurt its bottom line, alienating a swath of the population in the process. Disney acknowledged “risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer interests” in a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Generally, our revenues and profitability are adversely impacted when our entertainment offerings and products, as well as our methods to make our offerings and products available to consumers, do not achieve sufficient consumer acceptance,” the company said in the report.

Disney went on to note that “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.”

Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor and Fox News contributor, said that the SEC filing is an admission that “its controversial political and social agenda is costing the company and shareholders.”

In a Dec. 2 installment of his Verdict with Ted Cruz podcast, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) referred to the disclosure as a “stunning” admission to Disney’s investors that it has prioritized progressive politics over profitability.

Cruz said that what may appear, at face value, to be a mea culpa on the part of Disney execs was more likely a calculated move to protect the company from lawsuits.

 The disclosure, according to Cruz, is an insurance policy against disgruntled investors who could sue Disney for a lack of transparency about the impact of its woke priorities on the company’s finances.

“But the fact that they put this in their SEC disclosures means, number one, the money they’re losing is so significant. Number two, their projections for future money that they’re going to lose are so significant that their lawyer said…’ You have to acknowledge this in the disclosure or else you will be sued for misleading investors,'” Cruz said.

The Walt Disney Co. has seen steep losses in its streaming division and endured a string of big-budget box office flops, prompting the company to slash 7,000 jobs from its workforce last year and undertake a major corporate overhaul in an effort to trim $5.5 billion in costs. Disney shed $123 billion of its market value last year, with stocks tumbling 44.58% from the beginning to the end of 2022. The company opened the year at $156.76 per share and closed it out at $86.88. 

In June, YouTube Financial analyst Valliant Renegade calculated Disney’s losses from eight films released in the preceding year and put the total figure at about $890 million.

Disney, which is commemorating its 100th year of making movies, spent almost $1 billion on four of its high-profile streaming and theatrical releases that failed earlier this year, according to Forbes. Ticket sales for its latest theatrical release, “Wish,” fell short of expectations.

The animated film, released on Thanksgiving weekend, was projected to earn only $32-$33 million in its opening 5-day total, well below initial projections.

‘IT’S A TREMENDOUS LOSS TO AMERICA’

The House of Mouse waded into the culture wars in recent years with the introduction of LGBTQ characters in some of its movies and television shows.

Disney’s philosophical-turned-legal feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over a state law banning transgender ideology instruction in elementary schools, however, cast the company’s political agenda in the national spotlight. DeSantis stripped Disney of its special self-governing status and replaced it with a state-run board after theme park execs vowed to fight to repeal DeSantis’s Parental Rights in Education bill.

Far from acting as a deterrent, the kerfuffle appeared to galvanize Disney to continue down its politically progressive path. The past year saw the House of Mouse double down on efforts to inject LGBTQ content into its theatrical releases, like 2022’s animated film “Lightyear,” which included a same-sex kiss.

The company solidified its stunning transition from a family-friendly entertainment company to a megaphone for woke ideology with the funding of LGBTQ school curricula and the introduction of “Gay Days” at its Disney World theme park in Orlando. The company also added a slew of R-rated movies and a series about a teen impregnated by Satan to its Disney+ streaming platform lineup in 2022 – the same year Disney was outed as a financial supporter of the Trevor Project, a chatroom that functions as an underground grooming website targeting vulnerable children.

The company faced a financial reckoning as families – and, in some cases, entire countries – overwhelmingly rejected its moralizing movies and political posturing. Former CEO Bob Iger was brought back in to replace his chosen successor, Bob Chapek, who came under fire for his management of the company. Iger promised to “quiet the noise” of Disney’s raging culture war against conservatives in a September phone call to edgy investors.

Loftis said that Disney’s downfall reflects a complete “transfer of power.”

The sane, sober, talented, mature people are gone, and now you have the gender studies crowd running Disney,” Loftis said. “That’s why their movies are flops there, and their market cap, I think, is about half what it used to be,” he continued, adding, “It’s a tremendous loss to America. We all grew up on Disney.”

This article was partially informed by CNBC News, The Federalist, New York Post, and Reuters reports. 

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