Disney was very close to acquiring social media giant Twitter, but the company pulled out at the 11th hour because CEO Bob Iger had a number of particular misgivings.
Writing in his new book, Iger said Disney originally wanted to buy Twitter to help “modernize its distribution,” according to The New York Times. However, Iger ended up calling Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey “at the last minute” to tell him the deal was off, which reportedly stunned Dorsey.
Iger said Twitter was experiencing “troubles” that were too much for Disney to absorb. He also personally reflected that the Twitter user experience, for him, was anything but pleasant.
“The troubles were greater than I wanted to take on, greater than I thought it was responsible for us to take on,” Iger said. “There were Disney brand issues, the whole impact of technology on society. The nastiness is extraordinary. I like looking at my Twitter newsfeed because I want to follow 15, 20 different subjects.
“Then you turn and look at your notifications and you’re immediately saying, why am I doing this? Why do I endure this pain? Like a lot of these platforms, they have the ability to do a lot of good in our world. They also have an ability to do a lot of bad. I didn’t want to take that on.”
The full New York Times interview with Iger is incredibly fascinating; go read it here.
While the Twitter buyout didn’t work out, Iger has overseen four epic-sized acquisitions during his time at Disney. These included the buyout of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and finally Fox. When Disney bought Star Wars, Iger recalled that Fox boss Rupert Murdoch “was crazed” because Fox already had an in-road with Star Wars as the distributor of George Lucas’ Star Wars films.
“Rupert was crazed that we bought Lucas,” Iger said. “They were the distributor of all of George’s movies, and he was very disappointed in his people. ‘Why didn’t you think of this?'” Iger said.
Disney’s next big movie is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which hits theatres in December. It wraps up decades worth of storytelling, bringing an end to the Skywalker Saga that began in 1977.