Note to Bob Iger: Chillax, Man: 3.38
I recently met an assistant in the upper echelons of the management structure at the megacorporation known as ABC-Disney. This assistant gave me some insight into how things operate at the Mouse House, both pre- and post-Eisner. This young man, who was introduced to me via Famke, had some gossip about how new CEO Bob Iger and dearly-departed [though still alive] CEO Michael Eisner function, or did function, at Disney. Now keep in mind that all this stuff is supposed to be hush-hush and such-- this info was essentially* tricked out of my unwitting source.
*I found out what this kid did and then I got him hammered so he'd talk. How you like my journalistic integrity now, biyatches?
Look how cartoonish* Michael Eisner looks!
*Hmm, which cartoon. . . Towlie from South Park? Old Popsicle Dude from Family Guy?
I'll get right to the good stuff:
The most surprising thing I heard was that both men weren't monsters. I'd kind of expected Bob Iger to be a decent human being, but I must admit that I'd hoped for more from Michael Eisner. Where's the coldly cruel temper? The bursts of inhuman rage? Alas, there were no lashings with extreme prejudice or Trump-style grillings of any kind that he'd noticed.
Generally, my man on the inside has faith in new Disney topper Bob Iger. [say the last part of that sentence out loud-- it's fun!] His background may be more workhorse than showman, but the drunken Diz Assizter thought Iger had the makings of a good Chief E.O. Of course, I sensed a 'but' in there, and pressed on with a shot of fine blue agave tequila paired with a salty lick and a slice of lime.
After picking pieces of lime from his teeth, my unwitting source revealed that he was a bit concerned about Iger. See, running a global media conglomerate requires a certain je ne sais quoi. Frankly, the assistant couldn't exactly put his finger on the 'quoi', but he was able to specify that it meant hugging cartoon animals. When needed, Eisner could throw himself into the job with the enthusiasm of a sugared-up six-year-old, dispensing carefully-orchestrated hugs to legions of Mickeys. The insider was worried about Iger's ability to loosen up and display a similarly fuzzy veneer. After all, entertainment companies have, what, at least 10-20% of their wealth at any one time pegged to the ability of their leader to put on a carefully-calibrated dog-and-pony show. Right now, Iger's handlers are glowing at having him just masterminded simple conversations with Mickey, let alone heavy petting.
And speaking of hugging animals. . .
The new Hong Kong Disneyland isn't as successful as Disney hoped it would be. So far, guest attendance seems to be running around 30-35K per day. They'll need almost 50K to turn the tidy profit they were projecting. That said, it's a beautiful, stunning location, prettier than any of the other parks by a longshot, prompting lengthy drunken elocution by my guy on the inside. One thing of special note that he seemed pissed about was the "undeserved" [his words] flack Disney got for euthanizing a bunch of stray dogs. Of course, The Doris Day Animal League seems to see it a bit differently. (that's the third item down: "Yowls to the Walt Disney Company")
You tell 'em, Doris.
But here's the assistant's view on what should change, and maybe is changing, at the top of Disney. Now he was pretty wasted at this point*, so you'll excuse me if I don't quote him exactly.
*Disney people like their liquor.
To wit, Iger needs to chillax. By chillaxing, he just needs to learn to be himself being the CEO of the friggin' DizneyHizzey. He's got the top job and he's got huge, clown-sized shoes to fill. But Eisner could do it, so Iger's gonna have to. Wake up to the realities of the job, Bob, you're a high-visibility figure now and unless you act like it, the shareholders are gonna toss your highly-pedigreed a$$ to the curb.
Oh, and don't kill puppies. . . unless you're gonna go all the way and strew their shredded corpses all over the grave of Bambi's mother. And Iger just doesn't seem to be the corpse-strewing type. Not that there's anything wrong with that. After all, Disney's first leader, despite his creativity and cultural impact, could be fairly called a bigoted, paranoid quasi-psychopath. Even Eisner was usually a step above that. So relax, Bob, and settle in. You're going to be running Disney Global Empire for a little while. Settle into your big chair, steeple your fingers, cackle at the night, and have a ball man. F8ck 'em.
You should see him without the tie.