If there's one thing that never ceases to amaze me as covering television & streaming gets much more layered & complex, it's just how many instances there still are of self-inflicted, really bad public relations moves by media companies. Just to be clear? I'm saying "public relations" and not "moral" or "ethical" because those are two traits you really can't expect from a corporate entity built for profit. Now, I'm not saying they happen every day, but it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say a good handful happen in any given week. Lately, a lot of that focus (if we're being honest) has been on Warner Bros. Discovery & its head David "Disco Dave" Zaslav, who started things off like a bull in a china shop as he dove into finding what has now become $3.5B in cuts. But this time around, our attention turns toward "The Mouse" and apparently a beef a lot of folks have with it. Specifically, that apparently, Disney+ is asking subscribers to submit their birthdate and gender identification by December 8, 2022, in order to keep using the streaming service. And if there was ever one of those moments when one simple question sums up every possible response to that, it's this one. Why?
Look, I'm not a big fan of either question being asked. But at least with the birthday deal, I can rationalize in my head that you're going to use it to send birthday deals, maybe customized playlists of films & series. Hell, you might even email me a birthday card so that I can feel like a proud Mousketeer on my special day. But asking people to gender-identify so that they can stream The Mighty Ducks seems like a bridge too far. And just so we're clear? Having an option for someone to respond if they don't want to respond is still forcing them into an intimate exchange of information that isn't necessary.
If Disney's doing it for marketing purposes (which they claim they are), then make it an option that folks can bypass instead of a roadblock to them binging "She-Hulk." Because other than that, what's the purpose? Are you going to start curating watch lists for folks based on gender identification? Yeah… make sure to tell me how those ten seconds of going live with that went before it all went to Hell from the pushback. I have a feeling Disney has a hundred other ways to survey us without us knowing. How about letting this one go?