Disney Is Trying To Please The Wrong Audience

in Walt Disney World

Mickey Canceled

Credit: Inside The Magic

One of the many things both Bob Iger and Josh D’Amaro have promised to do in regard to Disney and the Parks is to start listening to the fans. That’s great, absolutely a step in the right direction, but recent reports are suggesting that they might be focusing on the wrong demographic. In fact, it wouldn’t be out of the question to say that the voices they’re appeasing are doing more harm than good.

josh damaro bob iger
Credit: Disney (left and right)

Disney has one of the biggest and most vocal fanbases on the planet, and they’re more than capable of making themselves heard whenever the company, studio, or Parks do something wrong. However, one thing that Disney seems to have forgotten is that you can’t please everyone. Call them the “woke” movement, call them trolls, call them any name under the sun, but the fact of the matter is that there is a certain portion of the fanbase that seems to be upset with everything Disney does, and that’s pulling focus from more important matters. By trying to appease every minuscule complaint from one sect of fans, Disney is hurting the larger portion of their audience.

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For example, two colorful puppets from “it’s a small world” were reworked and repainted because some fans called them “racially insensitive” due to their original slanted-eye design. Meanwhile, that same attention, time, and effort could have been used to repair or refurbish an attraction, like Journey Into Imagination, that fans have been pleading for Disney to fix for months. This isn’t the first time a situation like this has happened, as classic rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan’s Flight have also been labeled as problematic. Even after its closure, Splash Mountain is still being called out as racist and culturally inappropriate. Disney is faced with two questions on the matter, does this audience make up a large portion of their demographic, and does making these changes really matter?

Credit: Disneyland Paris News

The problem with this set up is that Disney is trying to cater to one portion to the detriment of another. It’s not that Disney shouldn’t change something if it’s outdated, unpopular, or offensive, but that the company is trying to avoid the appearance of controversy rather than actually fixing a problem. While they’re definitely on thin ice in the eyes of a lot of consumers, they’ve become more focused on covering up rather than making lasting repairs. Like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound, they’re not doing much for a long term solution. Even on something like the “small world” situation, the argument can be made that it’s more problematic to replace an intentionally Asian character in an intentionally Asian setting with something generic and plain. In doing this, Disney is trying to please critics more than keeping the large fanbase they already have.

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In the words of Mr. Spock, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. By appeasing this truthfully small portion of their audience of millions, Disney is neglecting the attractions, rides, and features that drew Guests to them in the first place. There will always be love for classic Disney, but some of their recent choices are only having their consumers question their loyalty even more.

Do you think Disney is playing to the wrong people? Tell us in the comments below.

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