Why Kathleen Kennedy’s Contract Was RenewedThe Dark Herald
Under normal circumstances, the one-two punch of The Last Jedi and Solo would have sunk any executive’s career. When John Carter failed at the box office, Iger fired the president of Disney Films. The guy who is above Kevin Feige and Kathleen Kennedy.
However, the years of their releases changed things. Last Jedi came out in 2017, Solo in 2018. The films’ performances were irrelevant. They both became inextricably tied to the #Resistance against the Orange Man. Stating your opinions about them had become a political act.
There is far too much emotional investment in these views at this point.
Consequently, Kathleen Kennedy’s retention or dismissal became no longer a business decision in any way, shape, or form. Either action became a very strong political statement by Disney.
And Disney is a very, very leftwing company in an extremely leftist industry.
From that perspective, Chapek had very little choice. If he fired her, Disney would have become a pariah company within the film industry. No talent would be willing to work them. And he would be facing a string of low-level revolts within the corporation itself.
Hopefully, her continued employment is a manageable condition but I have my doubts.