Fans Criticize Disney For Spending Millions on Super Bowl Ad After Laying Off Thousands

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Sports, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney Studios - Disney100 Logo

Credit: Disney

To celebrate Disney100, The Walt Disney Company released a moving Super Bowl commercial featuring 100 years of Disney Parks, movies, and magic. Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort regularly play a significant part in the Big Game as every winning team cheers, “I’m going to Disney World!”

Still, some Disney fans found the advertisement insensitive in the wake of 7,000 layoffs announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger last week. The Super Bowl LVII ad, which likely cost millions, features a quote from Walt Disney about the Disney Cast Members who made the magic possible.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle

Reddit user u/JurassicPark-fan-190 was among the first to speak out against the advertisement. “Disney paying for a superbowl commercial but letting go lots of workers: does that rub anyone else the wrong way?” they asked. “They don’t need any brand recognition… everyone knows who they are and what they offer. That might have been able to save a few jobs or given a pay increase to workers living pay check to pay check.”

The Disney fan expanded on their reasoning in the comments. “As an employee who is about to or did lose my job I can’t imagine that sits right with them,” they wrote. “Notice you haven’t seen Meta advertising after the thousands of layoffs. I just felt it was in poor taste.”

A white male Cast Member in a blue shirt smiles and waves as a Monorail passes by.
Screenshot via Annual Shareholders Meeting

Many agreed. “I get Disney needs ads, but maybe announcing and performing layoffs the WEEK of a huge marketing push is in poor taste,” u/BethyW said. “…We need to take a step back and understand that Disney can do evil deeds, as all corporations can, and not be so blinded by nostalgia that we forget that 7k families this week do not know where their rent/mortgage will be coming from because some m/billionares want more dividends.”

“‘You made this dream come true’ definitely didn’t sit right,” u/dirtEblondE wrote. “It felt weird given the current state of the company,” u/AAAFate agreed.

Still, others said it’s unrealistic to expect The Walt Disney Company to stop marketing because of layoffs.

Two PhotoPass Cast Members stand back to back in front of Cinderella Castle wearing lime green costumes.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

“No. This is how corporate America is and has been. To defend the marketing team a bit, they wouldn’t have known about the layoffs when they planned that ad,” u/KingHarambeRIP pointed out. “Layoffs are made from on high and kept secret until they occur.”

“They have a budget for marketing. This ad would have happened either way. This also may make it that those laid off get back to work faster,” u/CPollard187 argued.

Was The Walt Disney Company’s Super Bowl ad appropriate after 7,000 layoffs? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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