Yes folks. Disney apparently just donated over $32k to Gavin Newsom’s 2022 reelection campaign. According to Deadline the money was donated from one of the company’s subsidiaries– Disney Worldwide Services.
That isn’t all, earlier they donated $10,000 to Stop the Republican Recall, that is a committee set up to be able to accept unlimited amounts of money to stop the recall of Newsom. So there seems to be two organizations that Hollywood is donating to. One being Newsom’s reelection campaign, which limits funds and then to the organization to stop the recall that apparently can take unlimited funds.
Disney has donated to both. This is the same Walt Disney Company that called out Newsom for not allowing them to reopen in 2020 and Bob Iger reportedly quit Newsom’s “state economic recovery task force” due to the delays.
CEO Bob Chapek publicly called out the issue in late 2020 stating “We are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disney closed despite our proven track record.”
In October, 2020 when Governor Newsom said that he was in “no hurry” to issue safety guidelines for amusement parks to reopen Disney’s Chief Medical Officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Dr. Pamela Hymel said:
“We absolutely reject the suggestion that reopening the Disneyland Resort is incompatible with a “health-first” approach. The fact is, that since March we have taken a robust science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts across the globe. Our health and safety protocols were developed in consultation with epidemiologists and data scientists, and after considering guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and experts in local government and health agencies. All of our other theme parks both in the United States and around the world have been allowed to open on the strength of our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols.”
Then Disney announced their plan to send a bunch of jobs from California to the Orlando area, where they were allowed to reopen and move on.
Hollywood is backing Newsom
According to Deadline: “But Hollywood studios have been backing Newsom in the recall, betting that he will be able to defeat the effort to oust him. The Motion Picture Association, which includes Disney as a member, and Paramount Pictures have contributed to an independent committee to try to defeat the recall, as well as a number of industry figures.”
The question is why are the Hollywood power players giving him money NOW?
One of the reasons I’ve seen mentioned is that he suggested that they add $30 million to the state production incentive program and then legislature passed an expansion that gave an additional $180 million (over two years) and a credit for construction and renovation of sound stages.
According to Dan Schnur, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studios, Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of School of Public Policy and USC Annenberg School of Communications, Hollywood is just hedging their bets:
“The Hollywood studios have reacted to the recall in the same way as most of the state’s business community: they know that Newsom is very likely to survive and so they are donating heavily to maintain their relationship with him.
Basically it’s going to come down to money. With supporters or his recall raising $8.1 million and opponents having raised $64.5 million.
Honestly, I’m not going to claim I understand it, but I’m just reporting on what I can find. Seems like a “I’ll scratch your back. You scratch mine” type of deal where Hollywood and Newsom win and Disney tows the line to stay in there with them.
It just seems kind of two-faced, especially after the public show they put on against Newsom.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.
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.