In a published statement, Iger made clear its goal to establish “a more efficient, coordinated and streamlined approach to our operations,” and this latest news is clear proof of that. However, the removal of “certain content” mentioned by McCarthy is unequivocally concerning, especially in light of similar actions taken by David Zaslav and his team at Warner Bros. Discovery.
WB Discovery’s removal of numerous shows and movies from HBO Max (which will be rebranded as “Max” later this month) set a troubling precedent for the industry and the preservation of the efforts of countless artists. With Disney being such a prominent leader within Hollywood and seemingly following his lead, the news of a consolidated app experience seems less appealing than it might on the surface. Sure, it’ll be nice not to have to switch apps and juggle multiple subscription cycles, but if the full selection of movies and shows is no longer accessible, it’s a real “six of one, half dozen of the other” situation. .
Obviously, the change will help Disney financially in an immediate sense, as the company will take an impairment charge of between $1.5 and $1.8 billion on media it removes. While it makes good business sense, the cultural cost is far more troubling and incalculable: what’s on the chopping block, after all? Chances are, it’s something you love, and until studio heads make the effort to figure out how to get it right with their artists, the convenience gain on a streaming service won’t matter much.