The Walt Disney Company is among the largest media companies in the world, with some of the most well-known brands in popular culture under its umbrella — Marvel Studios/the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Lucasfilm/Star Wars, Hulu, ESPN, 20th Century Studios, and ABC all belong to Disney, for example.
To date — even after the debut of the Disney+ streaming platform on November 12, 2019 — Disney has kept more mature, adult-oriented content, such as The Handmaid’s Tale, on Hulu.
Now, though, amid concerns about slowing Disney+ subscriber growth, a new report indicates that Disney executives are in a “heated debate” about what the future of Disney+ content should look like now that former Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger is out and currently CEO Bob Chapek has been at his post for well over a year.
The aforementioned report notes:
Current and former executives tell me there is a heated debate in Burbank over whether to stick to core family-friendly Disney content or widen the aperture to bring in more subscriptions.
Bob Iger “insisted on sticking to the narrow definition,” one of those sources told me. Chapek “intends to expand it,” but the anxiety among some insiders is that the famously data-driven Chapek lacks the creative vision to do it the right way. “Notice that Netflix spends insane amounts and makes a ton of crap,” the source said. “A handful of phenom hits in a giant pile of crud.” Is that what Disney wants for Disney+?
Iger — whose tenure as Disney CEO included the famously expensive $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas — is currently serving as Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman, but will officially step away from the company at the end of the year.
For now, Disney+ remains a bastion of family-friendly content, but could more PG-13, or even R-rated, material be coming in the future? It certainly seems that things could be trending in that direction.
Would you like Disney+ to add more mature content? Stay tuned to ITM for more details as this story develops.