January 2000 – As pro-family groups prepared to begin the fourth year of the boycott against The Walt Disney Company, that company’s fiscal fourth quarter was the worst in its history, as net income plummeted 71%.
AFA President Donald E. Wildmon warned that the continuing economic sluggishness of Disney ought to wake up the entertainment giant to the concerns of families.
“When AFA began the boycott of Disney in early 1996, we said we were in this for the long haul, and Disney has been feeling the pinch for well over a year now,” said Wildmon. “We applaud the endurance of the countless boycotters who have committed to sending a message to that once family-friendly company. We hope Disney is hearing us loud and clear.”
The company’s fourth quarter, which ended September 30, saw overall earnings decline 38%. It was the fifth straight quarterly income drop. For the year, Disney’s income fell 28%.
Moreover, Disney CEO Michael Eisner anticipates more of the same for fiscal year 2000, saying the company’s earnings will be “in line with this year’s.” Disney stock dropped 14% following the sour economic news.
Wildmon noted that the income loss has been most severe in areas that would be particularly susceptible to a boycott. “Income from theatrical releases and home video sales was down 85%, and income from sales of Disney toys and merchandise was down 24%,” Wildmon said. “We feel the boycott was a major contributor in those declines.”
Disney’s theme parks and resorts were an exception, said Wildmon, where the company saw income increase 12%. “People at this point seem a little hesitant to surrender their trip to Disney World,” he said. “Still, the boycott is progressing nicely.”