Disney Headlines for April 24th, 2022
Some Disney+ episodes go missing this week, weirdos block a shopping center they call Disney, and hot air emanates from the governor’s mansion.
We enter the Darkest Timeline in this week’s Disney Headlines.
A Strange Disney+ Mystery
Do you binge-watch any TV shows? Based on Netflix’s recent earnings report, you may not do it as much as you had during the pandemic. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
A few days ago, media sites started tracking a strange phenomenon. Certain episodes were missing from popular shows on streaming services.
To wit, Paramount+, which is basically the Star Trek network, didn’t show all the episodes of a Star Trek series, a property Paramount owns entirely.
This media gap exemplifies what my Streaming into the Void podcast jokingly describes as a licensing nightmare.
Companies have signed so many contracts regarding their intellectual properties that legal loopholes abound.
Disney had mostly avoided this issue, as then-CEO Bob Iger planned Disney+ well ahead of time. He had time to line up all the licensing rights in place.
However, some gaps remain for various reasons. Disney+ fanatics discovered this when someone noticed a missing batch of Agent Carter episodes.
You may recall that Disney recently added Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the various Marvel “Netflix” series, and Agent Carter to its streaming service.
Apparently, some issues remain, as viewers noticed that several episodes of Agent Carter season two had gone missing.
Even More Missing Episodes
At this point, internet sleuths kicked into overdrive in identifying missing episodes for other franchises.
The list includes *deep breath* Big City Greens, Big Hero Six, Bizaardvark, Ducktales, Hannah Montana, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, The Owl House, etc.
I could go on, but you get the point. We’re talking about a massive gap in available episodes. Also, some of these series had never aired elsewhere.
As such, we cannot write them off as licensing issues. Instead, the titles should be in the clear.
Sure enough, Disney performed some investigating and eventually recognized that a technical glitch had occurred.
For lack of better terminology, Disney+ turned countless episodes invisible to viewers.
As I type this, Disney is working on a fix that apparently takes a day or two to implement fully. Deadline is updating the story if you’re interested.
The manufacturers of Bad Idea Jeans have staged quite the comeback during the pandemic. Some folks are doing some truly silly stuff as a grab for attention right now.
Honestly, I’d rather not discuss a lot of it, but here we are. Sometimes, people talk about something so much that we must cover it.
To wit, some rumors circulated over the weekend that “truckers” had blocked the entrance to Walt Disney World.
Let me state this in the most explicit possible terms. No, that didn’t happen. Not even close.
For that matter, if you possess even a passing familiarity with Walt Disney World, you know that’s not something anybody can do. The campus includes many entrances.
Instead, we’re talking about the latest example of irritants doing things to annoy strangers.
Apparently, a couple of people who own trucks (not 18-wheelers) got the bright idea to fake car trouble at Disney. They thought they could block traffic and win social media for the day.
Well, somebody needs to teach these folks how to use a GPS. What they actually did – and for no discernible reason, I might add – was stop traffic elsewhere in Orlando.
In fact, Politifact suggests they were eight full miles away from Magic Kingdom (!) on what I can only describe as a Letterkenny episode in real life.
I’m trying not to giggle at the thought of the whole thing, but here we are.
The dudes went to Hotel Plaza Blvd and acted like their car batteries needed a jump, thereby blocking both lanes of a two-lane road.
The result of their plan was that a few annoyed folks staying at less expensive resorts got stuck, thereby keeping some children from spending more time at Disney. Classy.
Here we go again. The Governor of Florida remains under fire for the indefensible Don’t Say Gay Bill.
The rift with Disney appears unlikely to heal anytime soon. So, in a bit of a magic trick, the governor just threatened the Mouse again.
The gist is that the governor had announced a special session of state congress to debate Florida’s congressional maps.
As critics describe the strategy, the governor wants to reduce the number of predominantly African American voting districts in Florida.
His own party had passed a map that kept these totals the same, but the governor vetoed their work.
Obviously, if the real reason for this special session garnered headlines, the governor wouldn’t look good.
So, he started the session with a surprising tactic. He announced that this debate would include a consideration of removing Disney’s Reedy Creek rights.
Will Florida government officials actually change the Reedy Creek rules? Allow me to crib from the Orlando Sentinel’s excellent piece on the subject:
“But Democrats, legal experts, and even a staff analysis of the GOP bill filed later in the day suggested a full dissolution of the district wouldn’t be possible without a referendum in municipalities that Disney firmly controls.”
So, neither political party of a team of lawyers believes it’s something that could happen. However, this state senate’s vote in favor of eliminating Reedy Creek privileges garnered headlines, which is the point.
As someone else in that article stated, it’s a “distraction to steer everyone’s attention away from eliminating Black congressional districts including one in Central Florida.”
Yup, this is all an attempt to distract from a more controversial gerrymandering story.
I hinted at the Netflix news earlier. The streaming service had forecast 2.5 million new subscribers. Instead, it lost 200,000.
Worldwide, these numbers represent Netflix’s first step backward in more than a decade!
The steady growth of streaming services appears to be nearing the end, at least for now.
This news could impact Disney, as Bob Chapek’s fate is entwined with whether Disney+ reaches 240 million subscribers in 2024.
Chapek has doubled and tripled down on these projections. So, the Netflix slowdown must make him worry.
In fact, Netflix added that it expects to lose two million more subscribers this quarter.
Has society reached the breaking point on the number of needed streaming services? I don’t know, but Disney’s earnings report in three weeks just got a LOT more interesting.
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