Disney Investor Slams Shift To ‘Woke’ Marvel Films

IMDB. The Marvles. Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani. Photo by Laura Radford/Laura Radford - © MARVEL 2023
IMDB. Photo by Laura Radford/Laura Radford – © MARVEL 2023

Disney investor Nelson Peltz slammed the company for its turn to “woke” themes with its Marvel super hero films and said moviegoers “don’t go” to the theaters “to get a message.”

In recent comments to The Financial Times, Peltz questioned whether Disney CEO Bob Iger and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige forgot why people go to the movies. He alluded to the female-led “The Marvels” and the “Black Panther” films.

“People go to watch a movie or a show to be entertained,” Peltz told the outlet. “They don’t go to get a message.” 

“Why do I have to have a Marvel that’s all women?” he added. “Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that?”

“Why can’t I have Marvels that are both?” Peltz continued. “Why do I need an all-black cast [like in ‘Black Panther’]?”

The Hollywood Reporter, which reported on the interview, noted the comments were similar to remarks from Ike Perlmutter, a former Marvel Entertainment chairman and CEO who is friends with Peltz.

Last year, Disney confirmed that Perlmutter was out following massive layoffs by the House of Mouse as part of its cost-cutting efforts. Marvel Entertainment is a subsidiary of the Disney Company.

Perlmutter was let go along with Marvel Entertainment’s co-president Rob Steffens and chief counsel John Turitzin, according to Variety.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Perlmutter said he had “no doubt” his firing “was based on fundamental differences in business between my thinking and Disney leadership.” 

In a lengthy statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Perlmutter said that he “long expected that my working relationship with Disney would end.”

“That it should come as a result of my trying to help Disney improve its business should sadden many shareholders as it does me, the company’s largest individual shareholder,” he added.

Perlmutter’s division, which centered on consumer products, comic book publishing, as well as game licensing and arena shows, was folded into larger Disney business units, two unnamed Disney executives told The New York Times.

The move came after Disney announced that 7,000 jobs were being eliminated to cut $5.5 billion. Perlmutter had been with the company for more than a decade after selling Marvel to Disney in 2009 for $4 billion, Deadline reported.

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