Let’s face it: 2022 hasn’t been the best public relations year for Disney. The company’s disastrous response to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill and its caving in to the wokest faction of its cast members have not played well with the public — the people who pay for movies, streaming services, and theme park experiences.
It’s been tempting to wonder if someone at Disney would fall on his or her sword for the disaster that this year has brought to The Walt Disney Company (TWDC). It should’ve been Bob Chapek, who has been a terrible CEO without the public relations fallout of battling Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Don’t get me started on how Disney Parks has ruined the guest experience on Chapek’s watch.)
Instead, one of the company’s newest executives is out the door. Disney is parting ways with Geoff Morrell, its Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, after just four months on the job. Morrell, a former Pentagon spokesman, took over at the beginning of 2022 when Zenia Mucha left the post.
“I am writing to share the news that Geoff Morrell, our Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities,” Chapek wrote in a memo to cast members on Friday.
Axios reports that Morrell “on Friday told his team he’s resigning because the job is ‘not the right fit.’” TWDC will divide his duties up between three other executives within the company.
Related: Disney Has Turned Its Back on What Made It So Great
Morrell started his career at Disney and spent time at BP as well as at the Pentagon before coming back to TWDC near the end of 2021.
“This is a homecoming of sorts. After four years in government and 10 years with bp [sic], I am thrilled to be coming back to the company where I began my career,” Business Week reported Morrell saying at the time. “I started off as a journalist, but return to take on an exciting new role. I look forward to helping Bob Chapek and his talented team engage with our stakeholders around the world. Given the tremendous change underway in the industry and Bob’s ambitious plans for Disney, it is imperative that we proactively share the story of Disney’s evolution. Few companies are as beloved as Disney, and I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure it remains that way.”
Let the first part of that last sentence sink in. “Few companies are as beloved as Disney,” Morrell said last year. Yet Chapek and former CEO Bob Iger inserted Disney into a political fight that they couldn’t win, simply because they listened to the squeaky-wheel wokes in the company and ignored other voices. Presumably, Chapek and Iger expected Morrell to clean up the mess they created.
Earlier this month I wrote about how Disney has turned its back on its founders, on its fans, and on the truth. Letting Morrell go won’t repair those wounds. I hope and pray that Disney will turn itself around, but if it doesn’t, there may be more trouble ahead in the Magic Kingdom.
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