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Thursday, July 14, 2005

So, did SaveDisney.com save Disney? We'll see...

SaveDisney.com logoI've been subscribed to the SaveDisney.com site for a number of months now (visit the link now--it's going away), ever since I read about it somewhere or another. As you might or might not know, I'm a huge Disney fan, so when stories started coming out about the spirit of Disney dying out and being boiled down to the corporate buck, I was interested in learning about what was being done to prevent it.

I've seen the company make what I thought were poor decisions that obviously came out of a committee instead of pixie dust (one day, maybe, I'll pontificate on the "reboot" of the Journey into Your Imagination ride at Epcot, or on just what I thought about the Phil Collins tunes in Tarzan and Brother Bear).

Roy DisneyAnd Roy Disney, spokesman of the site, has seemed to want to do something about it. He's pushed to make the board of directors boot Eisner and to institute real change. He's cited some of the things wrong with the company (a number of which I've agreed with) and suggested avenues of improvement. So I've been watching to see what happens, wondering if maybe someday he would get the stockholders to vote fully against Eisner and his cronies and bring in a new regime (as a disclosure, I have a few shares of Disney stock that I received as a graduation present).

Now Roy and the Walt Disney Company have announced that Roy and his fellow crusader, lawyer Stanley Gold, have put aside their differences with the company. In fact, Roy has been named a consultant and "director emeritus" of the company. He has stated in an open letter that he has been asked "to take part in whatever way I can help as a part of the Company, its art and its business."

Hmm.

The optimist in me is cheering. The cynic in me is wondering if Roy is giving up, taking a sweet deal from the company, and allowing his campaign to be marginalized. Time will tell, I guess. I've got my fingers crossed, at any rate, but right now, at least, that cynical voice is loud, especially since part of the agreement apparently means that the SaveDisney site is going down. Personally, I'd rather see it stay up, keeping a tally of Roy's wins and measuring the challenges he and the company still face.

Plus, I'll miss the cool Walt Disney quotes the site's sent me every week. I'll close with one that I hope Roy is keeping in mind: "Do a good job. You don't have to worry about the money; it will take care of itself. Just do your best work--then try to trump it."


EDITED July 18 (Tinkered with the graphics)

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