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Disney, Netflix, and the Less-Is-More Movie Mantra

alan bergman bob iger David Greenbaum
The elevation of David Greenbaum, who will report to Alan Bergman, signals that Disney is prepared to think differently about the kinds of films it wants to make. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
March 1, 2024

Yes, that was Disney C.E.O. Bob Iger sitting courtside with his just-exited film production president, Sean Bailey, at the Clippers-Lakers game last night. Bailey has his own Lakers seats, but Iger’s a decades-long Clippers guy (God help him), and this was a Clips home game, so it was definitely an Iger invite.

Maybe that seems weird, given that Iger and Disney Entertainment co-chair Alan Bergman just replaced Bailey, after 14 years running Walt Disney Studios, with David Greenbaum, head of the Searchlight specialty division. Or maybe Iger, who has always been good at the optics game (Sun Valley interview debacle notwithstanding), was just projecting a friendly transition via Hollywood’s preferred public forum for casual peacocking. (Greenbaum and Bailey were also seen lunching together at the Disney rotunda yesterday, the Burbank version of courtside seats.) But the truth is that Bailey indicated in his last contract re-up that this might be it, and pretty much everyone in town knew he had flirted with jobs at Amazon and Netflix. So Bailey was either gonna take a gig elsewhere, or Iger was gonna get annoyed enough with those flirtations—especially amid the pressure from the Nelson Peltz proxy warriors and recent underperformers, like The Little Mermaid and Haunted Mansion—and let Bailey go early.