Nelson Peltz Slams ‘Too Woke’ Disney Casting And Messaging

(Photo by LISA O'CONNOR / AFP) (Photo by LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)

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Activist investor Nelson Peltz has slammed Disney’s ‘woke’ casting practices in its blockbuster movies, including Black Panther and The Marvels franchise, in an interview.

Peltz, whose investment company Trian Partners owns around $3.5bn worth of shares in Disney, has slammed the company’s focus on messaging over story-telling in an interview with The Financial Times.

“People go to watch a movie or a show to be entertained,” he told the outlet. “They don’t go to get a message.”

He also addressed “The Marvels” and “Black Panther”to The Financial Times. “Why do I have to have a Marvel that’s all women? Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that? Why can’t I have Marvels that are both? Why do I need an all-Black cast?” he told the outlet.

Those movies don’t literally have all-female and all-black casts, Variety reported. However, audiences have taken note a larger trend of apparently politicized story-telling. This perception has been coupled with dismal stock market returns in recent years. South Park devoted an entire episode to skewering the casting choices of the company and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.

In addition to disappointing returns at the box-office, the iconic American brand has been embroiled in controversies outside of film-making, including withdrawing advertising from X and picking fights with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill. (RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Kids Under 14 From Social Media)

Despite these controversies, and the fact that, as Variety reported, Trian had previously withheld support for his re-election, Peltz went out of his way to reiterate his support for CEO Bob Iger in the interview with the Financial Times. “Disney is stupid because I’m not trying to fire Bob Iger I want to help him,” Peltz told the outlet. “We don’t fire CEOs.”

“We’re not there to fight. We’re there to help him,” he reportedly added later.