Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek just can’t seem to grasp the slogan, “Go woke, go broke.”
The Disney boss announced companywide cost-cutting measures in an internal memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal that was sent to division leaders that includes a hiring freeze and layoffs.
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The austerity measures, which include a ban on all but essential work travel and a freeze on new hires for all but a few critical positions, come days after Disney reported lackluster quarterly earnings and a $1.5 billion quarterly loss at its streaming business, significantly wider than Wall Street analysts had predicted.
In the memo, which was addressed to all executives at the senior vice president level or above, Mr. Chapek said a task force, led by finance chief Christine McCarthy and general counsel Horacio Gutierrez, would review marketing, content and administrative spending across the entire company and recommend cuts.
“I’m fully aware this will be a difficult process for many of you and your teams,” Chapek noted in the memo, according to the WSJ. “We are going to have to make tough and uncomfortable decisions.”
He also wrote in the memo that while reviewing all of the company’s costs, Disney plans to “look for every avenue of operations and labor to find savings,” adding that “we do anticipate some staff reductions as part of this review.”
The memo did not mention a target number regarding layoffs but it did say that travel must be limited and would require pre-approval from executives.
“I have no doubt we will achieve our goals and create a more nimble company,” Chapek wrote.
Earlier this year, some Disney employees spoke out against the company and its decision to go “woke,” which has placed it at odds with conservatives.
This week a handful of them talked to Fox News reporter Raymond Arroyo to complain about what the company has done.
“You can clearly see the magic is gone,” one of Disney’s employees said.
“I am deeply saddened by what Disney has chosen to take their stand on politically and just with their money, in general,” she said, complaining that she has experienced “such a drastic change” between when she started working for Disney and the way it is now.
Another worked that Arroyo spoke to said that Disney “has made it very clear that conservative Christian voices have no place visiting their parks or working at their parks.”
They said that for the past years Disney has been “heavy” in telling its employees “things to say” and “things not to say” to patrons in order to not offend anyone. She alleged that employees were instructed not to say normal words like “he, she, ladies, and gentlemen.”
“Basically, we have to be in fear of what we say now,” they said.
Jose Castillo, a Disney employee and Republican who also ran for Congress in Florida, said that the company is not catering to the “silent majority.”
“At this point, I believe the company has been hijacked by the liberal left,” he said.
“We need new leadership,” he said.
“Our CEO Bob Chapek, he’s supposed to be leading the company, not following the woke mob. He has a fiduciary duty to the stockholders of this company. That means he has to protect their investment, protect their money. But instead what does he do? He protects the feelings of a few minority workers.”