Dear Gossips, 

Finally, a bit of good-ish news for Disney-Marvel, or at least it is from the perspective of people who like even a modicum of diversity in their superhero movies. 


Ike Perlmutter, the long-time head of Marvel Entertainment, was booted from the company this week. Disney is in the midst of a massive round of layoffs, and Marvel Entertainment, which is separate from Marvel Studios, is being “folded” into other divisions within Disney, which is undoubtedly bad news for the rank and file employees. That genuinely sucks.

But Ike Perlmutter has long been a problem for Disney-Marvel. On the Marvel side, he stonewalled the development of films like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, believing audiences wouldn’t support films led by non-white/male characters. This led to the “Marvel divorce” in 2015 that split the movie studio from their parent company in New York (Perlmutter wanted to fire Kevin Feige, after frequent clashes over production budgets, casting choices, and future story development). 


Perlmutter is also famously frugal, he’s the guy who wouldn’t let Marvel roll out a decent spread for press junkets, which is like, champagne problems but Marvel was the butt of a lot of jokes for their cheap junket setups, which once was limited to Subway sandwiches. 

More recently, though, Perlmutter tried to take on Bob Iger, the returned Disney chief. Iger is known for his calm temperament and ability to manage personalities—that Perlmutter lasted as long as he did under Disney’s stewardship is testament to that—but Perlmutter plotted with Nelson Peltz—Nicola’s dad—to get Peltz, an activist investor, a seat on Disney’s board, thus disrupting Iger’s control of said board. The attempted coup failed, Nelson backed down as soon as Iger unveiled his post-pandemic restructuring plan—including the ongoing seven thousand layoffs—and Perlmutter was, finally, at the center of Iger’s target. 


Also in Disney news, remember how Florida governor Ron DeSantis was taking control of Disney’s land outside Orlando? The Reedy Creek Improvement District was dissolved, with a new board of appointees, all chosen by DeSantis, placed to oversee management and development of Disney’s land. Turns out, not so much. Disney legal did what they do, and screwed DeSantis out of his political victory (over one of the state’s biggest employers). The RCID is no more, but Disney maneuvered to retain control of their land holding, including future use and development. Anything the new board of governors wants to do has to be vetted and approved by Disney, and the new agreement includes a clause that Florida HAS to spend money developing interests within Disney’s borders. Basically, Disney replaced the RCID, which was just a taxing district that gave Disney control of their own facilities like roads and emergency services, with a full-blown Disney government.


While it’s always nice to see a neo-fascist get sucker punched in his own game, giving a corporation unprecedented power within local government seems like a scary precedent, and forcing public funds to be used for private development is a slippery slope (see also: charter schools). But when I say that the recent public messes involving Disney legal is not the norm, this is what I mean. THIS is how Disney legal usually operates—fast, quiet, by the book, and absolutely ravaging their opponents. Ike Perlmutter and Ron DeSantis tried to upset the balance of power at Disney, and today they are left with less than they had yesterday. If you come for the Magic Kingdom, best not miss. 

Live long and gossip,