Now that Disney has consumed 21st Century Fox, we wait for Disney to strangle the life out of any potentially bankable franchise Fox owns. It’ll be like Prometheus, but on purpose. However, before we see Juno the Animated Series: Baby Baby One More Time on Disney Jr., we gotta get hype! Both television divisions of Disney and what is left of Fox’s entertainment division laid out some pep talks/future plans with their employees, calling them Town Hall Meetings. Both were received pretty positively despite wildly varying content. Disney had to lie while, apparently, Fox is now a tech company.
As Deadline reports, Peter Rice, head honcho of Disney TV, pleased a crowd of employees new and old by saying layoffs are not coming for either side of the company. Praised for his transparency, he acknowledged that redundancies exist — what he called “duplications” — but pointed to the growing portfolio of Disney properties and services like Disney+. Rice even suggested expansion would be more likely than contraction at this time. Yeah, sure dude.
Fox’s TV talk, company name Fox Entertainment now, struck an entirely different chord, one that seemed more genuine, or at at least as genuine as executives can sound. CEO Charlie Collier used the term “startup” for the company founded in 1986 and focused on keeping the members of the now much smaller organization invested. In addition to talking about expansion to reality shows in the same vein of the sleeper hit fever dream The Masked Singer, Collier also suggested possible stock options for employees. Money is always more assuring than words after all.
Excuse my cynicism, but it’s hard to care about a planned speech meant to assuage fears after a huge merger. For all I know, Rice could have been genuine, believable, and concerned about his employees. At the same time, the entertainment industry is especially callous as working at these studios can be part job, part passion for many, and people without that passion can take advantage of that. That’s not a fun environment to be in when you’re trying to make Home Alone 7: Escape from the House of Mouse.