The Irony of ‘Unrealistic Demands’: Thoughts on Disney CEO’s Statement

Bob Iger, Disney CEO with an annual income of $27 million, recently took to TV to comment on the ongoing writers and actors guild strikes. According to Iger, these creative professionals are being “unrealistic” with their demands. But when asked to elaborate on why he believes so, his response was: “I can’t, I can’t answer that.”

Now, isn’t that interesting? The CEO of a multi-billion dollar media conglomerate, who himself enjoys a handsome salary, is quick to label the demands of the creative workforce as ‘unrealistic’ but falls short of providing an explanation as to why.

This brings to mind a question that’s been echoing in the corridors of the creator economy: who benefits most from the creative efforts and talents of these individuals? Is it, not the very media conglomerates that their work fuels?

The current wave of strikes from the writer’s and actors guild reflects a growing discontent within the creative community. They aren’t just about pay – they’re about respect, recognition, and the fair distribution of profits derived from their creative output.

This issue isn’t confined to traditional media companies. It’s mirrored in the digital realm, where platforms heavily profit from creators’ work but often fail to provide them with fair compensation or even the bare minimum support necessary to create sustainably.

While large corporations like Disney amass massive profits, it’s the creatives – the writers, the actors, the artists – who often struggle. Yet, when they demand better, they’re labeled as ‘unrealistic’.

I believe it’s time for a shift – a shift towards more equitable creative economies, both in traditional and digital media. As an Indie Media Producer, I see the immense potential that the internet and AI offer in enabling creators to take control of their content, distribution, and profits.

We need to strive for business models that empower creators and creative communities, rather than those that serve the interests of the corporate giants alone. The creativity, passion, and hard work of creators should be rewarded justly, and their demands should not be dismissed as ‘unrealistic’.

This post was co-created with the assistance of ChatGPT, an AI language model developed by OpenAI, and MidJourney AI, a generative AI tool that enhances the process of content creation.