No amount of DEI and ESG compliance will protect you from a failure that costs your employer a quarter of a billion dollars. You fail upwards in Hollywood unless you are left standing without a chair when the game of musical chairs stops, and you are the one left shouldering the failure. The Walt Disney Company has surveyed the wreckage of its balance sheet related to animated movie releases, including Lightyear, and has reached a verdict:




Out of around 7,000 job cuts in recent weeks, 75 of them will reportedly come from Pixar. Reuters reports that among those exiting the company will be the director of Lightyear last year, 26-year servicing animator Angus MacLane, the producer of Lightyear, 30-year Pixar veteran Galyn Susman, and the VP of publicity Michael Agulnek. Susman was revered in the corridors of Pixar as the producer who singlehandedly saved Toy Story 2. That was pure luck. A computer issue at Pixar lost the entire movie. Susman had a backup copy in her possession due to her being on maternity leave and working from home on the movie.




Lightyear made just $226.7 million worldwide on a $200 million budget. It was a victim of Middle America and much of the world turning its back on Disney products that were held to be out of step with their values and the messages they wanted to place in front of their children. This came during a very bad period for Disney, after footage was leaked of senior executives boasting about inserting political opinions into their movies based on their worldview, while they became embroiled in a row with Florida over the Parental Rights In Education Bill, a fight they didn’t have to pick.

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