Last updated on June 28th, 2023 at 02:03 pm
Latondra Newton, Disney’s chief diversity officer since 2017, has parted ways with the company to pursue other endeavors, according to an internal memo obtained by Variety. The memo, sent to Disney staff by chief human resources officer Sonia Coleman, acknowledged Newton’s contributions to Disney’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Newton’s departure comes after the underwhelming performance of Disney’s recent woke releases, including the live-action race-swapped version of “The Little Mermaid” and the Pixar film “Elemental,” which introduced Disney’s first non-binary character.
“Elemental” had a unsuccessful opening weekend at the box office, earning an estimated $29.6 million, making it the lowest premiere for a Pixar title since 1995. The film’s inclusion of a non-binary character voiced by Ava Hauser received attention but did not translate into success. Similarly, “The Little Mermaid” reboot is projected to perform poorly in China, a major market for Hollywood.
Disney has faced challenges with recent releases, including the underperforming “Lightyear” in 2022. The film, which had a budget of $200 million, fell short at the box office. Additionally, controversy arose when a lesbian kiss scene was removed from the film due to internal backlash but was later reinserted.