In March, I shared a YouTube video by Midnight’s Edge discussing how toxic executives in Disney and Lucasfilm were called out in a Forbes article. The lesson was, if your organization is corrupt, you must find help outside the system. This week, Midnight’s Edge followed up on the story by analyzing an article by Variety. It’s a veiled signal to Hollywood that Disney is cleaning house. I have also shared in the past that narcissists can’t be exposed directly, because they cultivate allies. They must be dealt with on the sly.
On the face of it, Disney is offending my individualist sensibilities by adding bureaucracy to the company, and promoting its merchandise and distribution executives above the creative ones. However, those so-called creative teams have polluted beloved franchises, infuriating the fans. The head of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, is despised by Star Wars fans, but is so ruthless she can’t be removed easily. The new layers of bureaucracy are a barrier between far left propagandists in the studios, and paying customers.
Disney’s new CEO, Bob Chapek, has the prerogative to change the company’s direction to fit his views; that’s normal in the corporate world. The fact that a leading Hollywood trade publication like Variety is covering it gives the article another meaning. In the video, industry insider Kamran Pasha reads between the lines. A few Disney creative executives are leaving this year, and this may provide cover for removing Kennedy. Pasha says the entire article is subtext for ousting her, without riling up her flying monkeys.
What lessons can we take from this installment? Toxic leaders use lies and false pretenses to protect their positions of power. To oust them, you don’t need to lie (in fact, you shouldn’t), but you can’t challenge them directly. You need to connect other ideas and context to their abuse, and their removal. You can camouflage your actions without hiding them. You need to build your own support around common sense. Whatever you do, don’t make it personal- the egos of narcissists are too explosive, so it must be strictly business.