The purging of original streaming films and TV series continues, this time on Disney+ and Hulu. In what is being referred to as a “cost-cutting move,” the platforms are scrubbing more than 50 titles, including the Latina-led series Diary of a Future President and other shows like Willow and Dollface.
Diary of a Future President had already been canceled back in 2021, but its first two seasons were available on Disney+. Now, CEO Bob Iger is saying the decision to remove the films and TV series puts Disney “on the right path for streaming’s long-term profitability” and is “rationalizing the volume of the content we make and what we’re spending.”
The biggest problem with this “cost-cutting move” is that it means that creators will no longer get residuals for these films and TV series. And viewers won’t be able to watch them unless they have physical copies, something that a lot of properties don’t get anymore.
Plenty of social media users were quick to comment, not only on Disney’s decision, but the fact that it’s right in the middle of the WGA strike where writers are fighting for their livelihoods, including changes in how residuals are paid. And this move by Disney sets them and representation back.
To put it in even more perspective, Diary of a Future President creator Ilana Peña was picketing with fellow writers in Hollywood before the news about her show hit on Thursday (May 18).
The “cost-cutting move” is reminiscent of what HBO Max (soon to be Max) did with some of its original shows like Gordita Chronicles or the highly anticipated movie Batgirl, to save money, with diverse projects taking major hits.
Actress Diana-Maria Riva, who starred in the Gordita Chronicles, told the Associated Press last month that finding out her canceled series was being completely removed from HBO Max was painful. This also comes at a time when projects focused on our communities are not being picked up, canceled, and now just removed from platforms.
“It was as if somebody had broken up with you and then came back to remind you a couple of weeks later that we’ve broken up,” Riva said. “It was already heartbreaking. But then it’s an added punch to just say, ‘Now we’re going to wipe the evidence of you ever having been here.’”