Last week, Forbes magazine finally made the Gina Carano story go full mainstream with media industry consultant Gene del Vecchio calling Disney out for their bad behavior. It was a stinging rebuke given how well-regarded Vecchio is in southern California. It’s also a harbinger that the veil has been shredded for Lucasfilm and Disney. This is no longer an issue solely for message boards, Reddit, and YouTube commentators… it’s now broken into the sphere of professionals in the industry who see this has gone too far.
But things are getting worse for the content creators of Star Wars, not better. The latest scuttlebutt is that Lucasfilm is having a very difficult time getting new directors to come on board with any project not linked to Jon Favreau. Apparently Zack Snyder is a director they’d like to have, but that doesn’t seem to be a door open to them anytime soon. No matter how much money Lucasfilm can throw at professional filmmakers, they’ve already seen the poor treatment given to a slew of prior directors, and they’re not eager to be invited into that same environment. At the same time, the Carano fiasco has pushed The Mandalorian Season 3 debut all the way out until possibly mid-2023 according to sources we have… and even then, neither Cara Dune nor Baby Yoda (Grogu) are likely to make appearances in the early episodes. Can you say “merchandising killer”?
However, it goes farther with Lucasfilm. We’ve been watching as a number of Lucasfilm employees see it now prudent to mark that their social media posts as their own opinions. That’s smart, because the social media posts they’ve been putting up are often borderline vile, and more frequently abrasive in the extreme to large portions of potential customers. We will withhold putting more Lucasfilm employee Twitter posts in this article (we’ve done that plenty in older articles), but suffice to say you’re more than capable of going and finding these on your own. What makes this pertinent to the story is that sources are telling us that Disney may have difficulty pulling in someone highly competent to take over Lucasfilm once Kathleen Kennedy exits, either this year or in the oncoming years thereafter, and it could be due to the toxicity.
Apparently Lucasfilm has become quite the ideological studio, with many employees there having become bitter and partisan. It’s not the sort of place someone would want to take over, especially if their mandate is to moderate the studio. Someone walking into that scenario could easily see a potential future being the target of online vitriol and the victim of identity destruction. While we can’t independently verify these claims in this article, film industry commentator Grace Randolph has previously said that Disney tried to get rid of Kathleen Kennedy in the past but was unable to find someone suitable who was willing to take the job. Well, things are much, much worse there now.
When Kathleen Kennedy finally leaves, it’s widely thought that whoever takes her place will need to bring in significant resources to manage potential fallout, as well as institute better social media regulations for employees. In essence, they’re going to need a social media / workplace politics cleanup crew. And while we don’t have any concrete details, we have been led to believe that Jon Favreau may be less likely to take the job once Kennedy is out. Again, while she might not leave this year (although that is now a possibility), she is almost certainly leaving in the next few years. But there is no likely replacement in sight.
As Forbes points out Lucasfilm and Disney bad behavior in firing Gina Carano, consider that not only did they exhibit poor corporate judgement (after all, look at the negative PR as a result), but they also botched the execution. Rather than an executive putting out an official statement, a Lucasfilm employee apparently leaked an unprofessional comment to a trade publication. Who in their right mind thinks that’s a well-run ship? Unfortunately, we’re also hearing – and seeing – the same vitriol coming out of Pixar, as well as the Disney Stories Matter Group that has been highly controversial for their curation of prior Disney material. If you were a foreign hostile power looking to demoralize western culture, you couldn’t pay enough money for such a strong fifth column.
Let’s just hope that Lucasfilm gets their cleanup crew before Star Wars is thrown completely in the dustbin.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.