Man Without Qualities

Monday, September 09, 2002

That's Why They Pay Him The Big Bucks

Michael Eisner, the embattled Chief Executive Officer of the embattled Walt Disney Company has sent the following e-mail to many Disney employees (who the company calls "cast members" - a practice not unique to Disney in the entertainment business):

Dear Fellow Cast Members:

I thought you should know that this weekend "Signs" went over $200 million at the U.S. box office, helping to make Disney number two among all the studios for the summer. This is an extraordinary achievement by our Studios unit, under the leadership of chairman Dick Cook. And, it is all the more remarkable because we have actually reduced the average cost of our movies, focusing on producing quality films with talented directors, like M. Night Shyamalan, who first brought us "The Sixth Sense" and now "Signs."

During these challenging times, with the economy in recession and the stock market depressed, it is easy to merely focus on the areas where we need to improve our company's performance (and, be assured, that we are working 24/7 to achieve this, and are seeing more encouraging "signs" in ABC's fall line-up!). But, we should not lose sight of our ongoing successes, one of which is "Signs" and the studio behind it, The Walt Disney Studios.

So, congratulations to everyone who works at the Studios - whether at Touchstone, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Feature Animation or Miramax - in development, marketing, production, finance, distribution, and every other area, for helping to demonstrate that our strategy is correct and that, with creativity and dedication, less can be more. Thanks for all your efforts!


Of course, contrary to Mr. Eisner's assertion, the United States economy is not "in recession."

Apparently even working 24/7, Mr. Eisner, ever the big picture conceptualist, could not take time to note such minutia. Details, details.

On the other hand, it may be worth noting that intellectual disorientation is considered a typical symptom of "pump head" syndrome. Not that there is any connection. No. No. Not at all.

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