Disney's reputation is being negatively impacted by the dispute with Ron DeSantis according to new Axios Harris Poll

May 23, 2023 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2023 4:21pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company's ongoing dispute with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is having a negative impact on its reputation, according to the latest poll from Axios Harris.

The Walt Disney Company is currently ranked at number 77, a decrease of 12 positions from its 2016 ranking.

As you would expect, Disney's reputation has shifted in alignment with the respondents' political affiliation. The company's reputation has risen among Democrats and fallen among Republicans, but the change was greater among Republicans, driving the overall decrease in reputation ranking.

Notably, the Walt Disney Company now ranks as the 5th most polarizing brand, measured by the gap between Republican and Democratic respondents. This puts Disney among the Trump Organization, Fox, Hobby Lobby, Twitter, and Facebook in the list of the 10 most politically polarized companies.

You can read more analysis of the poll at Axios, and see the full 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings.

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Sir_CliffMay 23, 2023

It's not a huge surprise as they have become a favourite punching bag for one of the most prominent political candidates and at least one major news organization. I know some will see that as proving Disney should have kept quiet about one thing in particular, but it seems a little like they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't know how they could have resisted releasing some statement (as many companies did) due to them being such a cultural touchstone that just happened to be one of Florida's largest employers. All of this happening when they had an unusually inept CEO who had a gift for PR disasters didn't help matters. As for the solution? I guess just try to ride this out and hope things calm down following the election.

mystoMay 23, 2023

Isn't the polarization itself the main problem? Doesn't this poll, and linking to this poll, increase polarization?

doctornickMay 23, 2023

Agreed. The way they handled it was a PR nightmare.

ToTBellHopMay 23, 2023

I think Iger would’ve handled it less sloppily than Chapek.

Andrew CMay 23, 2023

While I don't necessary disagree, keep in mind that many other companies did take a stance, although it was quieter in form.

The Empress LillyMay 23, 2023

The Disney brand doesn't mix well with political bickering, with anger and polarisation. It must be a rough sea to sail for Disney - damned if they do, damned if they don't on the polarising issues - but Disney should have prevented ending up in this position. I don't know how, but that's why people get paid $60 million a year. This mess constitutes a strategic failure of TWDC.

ParentsOf4May 23, 2023

The poll shows: "Among Democrats, it jumped to 80.3 from 72.5. But it plunged 14 points with Republicans, to 61 from 75." (Keep in mind this is a score, not a percentage.) It's mostly about one thing.

eliza61nycMay 23, 2023

This is one of those polls that makes absolutely zero difference to anything. So Disney's rep has reportedly taken a nose dive?

WillmarkMay 23, 2023

With most things in life it’s rarely one thing; my guess is the drop is likely a multitude of factors.

flynnibusMay 23, 2023

Yeah - the kind of phone hold times people tolerate to BUY Disney parks stuff is absolutely insane. I just won't do it. I don't want Disney that much...

ParentsOf4May 23, 2023

And this thread has already shown why Disney has become one of the most polarizing companies. :(

BaconPancakesMay 23, 2023

For example, nobody should be required to call into a damn call center to buy special event tickets like for the Halloween party. I spent more than four hours last year on hold. Completely ridiculous for one of the biggest corporations in 2023.

flynnibusMay 23, 2023

Personally I find the drop in Disney's reputation associated with quality of product - and less about their social agenda. But I can't unsee the agenda probably getting some projects done that shouldn't have been done.. or at least released as they were. But I'm not upset over the priority, I'm upset because the result was subpar. On the parks side, I find the monetization and lack of customer service appauling considering what Disney built their product's reputation on. Disney needs to move forward and find a new space they can excel at... because this $200/day park experience sucks.

VacationeerMay 23, 2023

The joke is How is this good for Florida?