Disney Hiring Insanely Paid Crisis Executive to Fix Bob Iger’s Mess

Disney crisis public relations
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company may be ready to accept that its public image is not its strong suit in the post-COVID world. While former CEO Bob Iger has returned to lead the company, his reputation has been in freefall because of questionable decisions and responses to controversy, particularly surrounding the SAG-AFTRA strikes. Disney looks to be desperate to course correct via its job postings recently.

Disney actors strike

Credit: Disney

Bob Iger Crashes and Burns

Bob Iger had a pretty sad period in the same week Disney announced he would retain his position as CEO for an additional two years until 2026. SAG-AFTRA, the prominent actors’ union, joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in a strike over the summer due to an impasse in their contract negotiations with major studios. The central issues at stake involve the push for increased minimum pay rates, fairer streaming residuals, and improved working conditions. Additionally, the union is addressing the escalating presence of artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry.

During an interview with CNBC, Iger weighed in on the ongoing strikes, characterizing SAG-AFTRA’s demands as “unrealistic” and “troubling.” He pointed out that studios are still grappling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, making this an inopportune time for further disruptions. Iger emphasized the importance of striking a favorable deal with both writers and actors, but he expressed reservations about the feasibility of their current expectations, setting the stage for potential discord in the negotiations.

What followed was an outcry from Hollywood over his responses. Prominent actors, writers, and directors all labeled the Disney CEO as out-of-touch and lacking in self-awareness. Things haven’t gotten much better since then. Iger has remained relatively light on appearances, and the company’s reputation is arguably at an all-time low.

cnbc actor writer strike bob iger

Credit: Disney, Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Disney Crisis and Public Relations

Disney seems to be trying to fix the reputation decline brought on by Bob Iger’s comments. According to The Intercept, the company recently listed a job opening for a senior executive to “lead crisis communications response efforts.” The role would also be responsible for driving employee morale and retention. This job is also not cheap labor. Disney is apparently offering $337,920 a year in order to course correct.

Responsibilities for the job listing included helping senior executives prepare for media events. With an increasingly disgruntled workforce and an abysmal interview by Iger, there is no doubt that the company really wants to wave a magic wand and make it all go away.

WGA strike lecture negotiations

The Intercept also spoke with a Disney spokesperson on the position, who tried to downplay it. “This role is a standard public affairs position with our Disney Parks, Experiences and Products business segment that has existed for more than 15 years,” they claimed. “It’s not new and the opening is the result of an internal move.”

However, Disney has never had to contend with a poor public image of this caliber. Even the Disney heiress herself, Abigail Disney, had words about the $338,000 job listing:

How about instead of paying monstrous sums for better PR you just change your behavior?

Disney has yet to announce the person filling the role that this position created. Nevertheless, we will be sure to keep you updated on any additional news regarding the situation. Disney is navigating some tough waters, but there is hope it can turn it around. However, it first needs to address the ongoing strike.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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