The Walt Disney Company: Sexual Harassment and Controversies on Social Media
(9 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Between 2017 and 2019, The Walt Disney Company (Disney) faced two major scandals that threatened to damage its family-friendly brand image. Disney’s brand value decreased by 5 per cent from 2017 to 2018, although it remained the most valuable media brand worldwide. In November 2017, John Lasseter, Disney’s executive producer, was accused of illegal sexual misconduct at its Pixar Animation Studios (Pixar). Following the allegations, Lasseter left the company in December 2018. Further, during the June and September of 2018, Rian Johnson, the writer and director of The Last Jedi for Disney’s subsidiary, Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC (Lucasfilm), posted unprofessional, aggressive, and insulting responses on his personal Twitter account to fans who hated the film. In April 2019, Disney chief executive officer (CEO) Robert Iger announced that no new Star Wars movies written or directed by Johnson would be put into development. Why did Disney not take immediate action to address these two scandals? How should Disney mitigate the losses stemming from the two scandals and prevent them from happening again? What should Disney do to further grow its sustainably?
This case is intended for use in senior undergraduate- or graduate-level courses on strategic human resource management (HRM), business ethics, leadership and organizational behaviour, and enterprise risk management. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Analyze the risks and potential impacts of sexual harassment and social media on the company’s brand image.
- Recommend appropriate strategies to mitigate the impacts of such risks and to prevent them from happening again.
- Recommend appropriate strategies to grow the company based on the brand image.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
United States, Large, 2019
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