Chalk up another win for going broke in the woke vs. broke sweepstakes.
According to a Thursday report from Hollywood trade publication Deadline, Disney is set to retire a number of its biggest series from its streaming platform, Disney+ — including a high-profile, woke-ified remake of “Willow,” the 1988 Ron Howard-directed swords-and-sorcery movie.
Disney had previously announced that it was set to take a “content impairment charge,” or tax writ-down — which totals $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion — in an earnings call on May 10. The series will be removed for the foreseeable future on May 26.
“Disney is the latest media company to purge content from its streaming platforms in a cost-cutting measure as the industry is rethinking costs and strategy in that arena with a renewed focus on profitability. Warner Bros. Discovery removed a slew of series from HBO Max, with AMC and Showtime also undergoing a similar scale back,” Deadline noted.
However, much of this “content impairment” being removed from Disney+ is content I doubt many viewers mind being “impaired” from finding. Among the victims are “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” yet another remake of “Cheaper by the Dozen” (this one starring Zach Braff and Gabriele Union) and “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” in which the seriously daft “Independence Day” and “Jurassic Park” actor attempts (and, judging by the very brief snippets of the series that I’ve seen, fails) to explain the world.
“Willow” stuck out like a sore thumb because it was a major, recent production with serious backing from the House of Mouse — along with plenty of wokeness baked in, including pushing adult themes and same-sex relationships on your kids.
According to IGN, the series, which completed its first and only season just six months ago, “was heavily promoted by Disney, but it received a lukewarm reception from fans and critics and was subsequently canceled in March.”
The move came as a slap in the face to those who were working on the show, including writer John Bickerstaff.
They gave us six months. Not even. This business has become absolutely cruel. https://t.co/8Kczi6HCvW
— John Bickerstaff 🏳️🌈 (@Bitterstaff) May 18, 2023
“They gave us six months. Not even. This business has become absolutely cruel,” Bickerstaff tweeted.
While show runner Jonathan Kasdan had expressed hope that a second season would be picked up as recently as March, the axing of “Willow” from the platform entirely seems to preclude that from happening anytime in the near future.
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) March 17, 2023
As John Nolte noted at Breitbart, however, the failure of “Woke Willow” was entirely predictable, given that the series was, in his words, “an open attempt on Disney’s part to groom your child, to interfere and manipulate their natural sexual evolution.”
“Gee, does this mean adding ‘queerness’ as the core of a series aimed at small children might not have been a smart financial move?” Nolte wondered rhetorically in a Friday column.
“Woke Willow was unquestionably one more Disney attempt to destroy the innocence of small children by prematurely exposing them to adult sexuality, including homosexuality. No decent person does this, but as we all know, the people who work at Disney are indecent groomers.”
As evidence, he burnished an interview with showrunner Kasdan, when geek-centric outlet Polygon asked him, “How did a queer relationship come to be the core of this show? When did it enter the process and was there any pushback?”
Do you think Disney will remove more LGBT content?
“There was no pushback,” Kasdan said. “What’s interesting is — I hope and I believe we’re at a moment where you’re going to see a paradigm shift in that. And hopefully, the way that it’s gonna happen is that these kinds of [queer] stories, particularly like this one, that were just organic to the narrative we were telling, find their way in, and it becomes less of a surprising and unusual thing to see.”
That Rubicon was once considered safe for every Hollywood culture factory to cross — especially Disney. “What are you going to do, parents?” Disney seemed to be asking. “You’re not going to watch our stuff?”
Yes, that’s exactly what parents did. When Disney fought Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill by restoring a same-sex kiss to the Pixar movie “Lightyear,” parents fought that by not going to see it; the “Toy Story” prequel had a disappointing run in theaters despite the familiar material. “Strange World” — a kids’ animated film that touted the first openly gay teen character in the company’s history — did even worse, certifiably bombing at the box office.
Between the two of them, Disney lost a quarter of a billion dollars. Now, yet another high-profile woke property is apparently getting written off by the company — meaning broke is on quite the winning streak at the Magic Kingdom.