Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Fired Disney CEO Prioritized Profits over People

When Disney CEO Bob Chapek was fired and replaced by his predecessor Bob Iger, many of Disney’s most vocal fans rejoiced. One of them is Len Testa, a computer scientist who once did a master’s thesis using math to optimize his ability to see as many Disney theme park rides as possible.

Testa wrote a column in the NY Times about why he felt Chapek was unfit for his previous leadership position. In the column, Testa claimed that Chapek violated the spirit of founder Walt Disney, his penchant for hospitality, and his appreciation of childlike wonder.

In his August 2022 earnings call, Mr. Chapek reported that Disney’s theme park, experiences, and products division had generated $7.4 billion in revenue in the third quarter, up 72 percent from the same time a year prior. He could have acknowledged Disney’s theme park guests for the stunning results.

Instead, a news release suggested that earnings would have been greater but for an “unfavorable attendance mix” at Disneyland. The company was essentially saying that too many annual passholders were visiting from nearby instead of out-of-towners, who stay at Disney hotels and eat at Disney restaurants more often. Some fans responded by creating T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Unfavorable attendance mix” and wearing them in the parks as in-jokes to other fans.

Testa says that fans interpret a recent uptick in extra theme park fees and surcharges as a lack of appreciation for generations of fans whose loyalty helped to build Disney into the corporate behemoth it is today. Furthermore, he says that influencers and freelance writers have made a cottage industry out of providing tips for people going through the process of booking a Disney trip because of how byzantine, confusing, and expensive it has become.

Testa ends his piece by suggesting that if Mr. Iger wants to experience the park from the perspective of one of the fans, he should try navigating Disney’s reservation system to book a theme park stay on a middle-class salary. Testa said, “When he’s overwhelmed by the cost and complexity, I know many fans who’d be happy to talk him through it. No charge.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

Wealthy Tech Townies Fight Affordable Housing

Tech companies often make public statements in favor of affordable housing in the context of public acts of philanthropy. But the sincerity of these pronouncements can be tested by ...

[Read More]

Sins of the Rich: Liberal Hypocrisy Exposed

The rich talk a good game but often don’t live up to their convictions. Many affluent Americans whose politics are on the liberal left are being exposed as hypocrites in regards ...

[Read More]