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Nelson Peltz Condemns Disney’s ‘Woke’ Movie Strategy, Highlighting ‘Black Panther’ And ‘The Marvels’ – One America News Network

NEWS HEADLINES: Nelson Peltz Condemns Disney’s ‘Woke’ Movie Strategy, Highlighting ‘Black Panther’ And ‘The Marvels’ – One America News Network

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US businessman Nelson Peltz. (Photo by LISA O’CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:22 PM – Monday, March 25, 2024

Investor Nelson Peltz criticized the Walt Disney Company for its “woke” film approach, specifically in reference to the Black Panther and The Marvels films, as the Disney board proxy battle draws closer to its deciding day.

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Peltz, who is currently fighting for two Disney board seats, denounced the mass media company for its “woke” strategy in its films, notably criticizing Marvel’s Black Panther and The Marvels, which portrayed female and Black leads in order to represent a more diverse casting.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Peltz, 81, who previously stated that he “never claimed” to have experience in the media industry, made critical comments on the two Disney movies. 

“Why do I have to have a Marvel [movie] that’s all women?” Peltz said in the interview. “Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that? Why can’t I have Marvels that are both? Why do I need an all-Black cast?”

Additionally, during the interview, Peltz questioned Disney CEO Bob Iger’s overarching film strategy and Marvel Studios director Kevin Feige’s leadership approach.

Even while he declared that he did not support the removal of either leader, Peltz is openly running for the board seats currently held by Michael B.G. Froman and Maria Elena Lagomasino.

Actor Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther made $1.35 billion at the global box office, making it a true blockbuster. In contrast, 2023’s The Marvels was a financial flop, earning only $206 million in total, in comparison to the 2019 film Captain Marvel, which starred actress Brie Larson in the lead role, and bringing in $1.13 billion.

During Iger’s speech at the DealBook Summit held by the New York Times in November 2023, he maintained that Disney films should prioritize storytelling rather than pushing certain political and social objectives. 

“Creators lost sight of what their No. 1 objective needed to be. We have to entertain first. It’s not about messages,” Iger said. 

Peltz also stated during a Financial Times interview that “people go to watch a movie or a show to be entertained. They don’t go to get a message.”

Disney has presented Peltz’s Trian Partners’ proxy vote campaign as being motivated by a “longstanding personal agenda” that Ike Perlmutter, the former chairman of Marvel Studios, has against Iger. 

Trian owns about $3.5 billion worth of Disney stock, of which Perlmutter owns 79%. Disney let Perlmutter go from this position last year.

As Marvel Studios chairman, Perlmutter notably disagreed with Feige on the production of Black Panther and Captain Marvel as well, claiming that films featuring Black or female leads would not be profitable.

However, Iger intervened and overruled Perlmutter.

In Iger’s 2019 memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime, the Disney CEO illustrated the “tensions that built up” between Feige and “the New York office,” referring to Perlmutter. 

“We had a chance to make a great movie and to showcase an underrepresented segment of America, and those goals were not mutually exclusive,” Iger stated. “I called Ike and told him to tell his team to stop putting up roadblocks and ordered that we put both ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ into production.”

When Peltz was asked if Feige should be fired as president of Marvel Studios during the Financial Times interview, he said, “I am not ready to say that, but I question his record.” 

Additionally, Peltz’s Trian said in a new statement on Monday that it “supports Mr. Iger as a candidate for the board and as CEO” and that its objective was to bring in fresh talent to replace some of the Disney board members. However, Trian abstained from voting in favor of Iger’s reelection to the Disney board.

The proxy battle is anticipated to peak on April 3rd at Disney’s annual shareholder’s meeting, in which shareholders will cast their votes for new board members.

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