The Lion King brand has grossed just under US$8.1 billion for the Walt Disney Company yet Disney Conservation Fund has donated US$70 million+ to save wildlife (which may include ‘guest contributions’). Whilst this is welcome, it represents only 0.9% of what has been made from The Lion King franchise alone.
For the Love of Wildlife, BloodLions, Nature Needs More and sixteen other organisations are asking the Walt Disney Company that a percentage of the US$8 billion+, made from The Lion King franchise (movie, theatre, merchandise, etc) to-date, be directed to the conservation of wild lions, as well as a percentage of all the funds generated from this point on, given the reboot of the franchise.
For example, we would ask the Walt Disney Company to cover the cost of implementing a global e-permit system that fully integrates with customs worldwide to ensure the traceability and trackability of flora and fauna from source to destination and, as a result, reduces the possibility of laundering illegal product in to the legal marketplace. Discussion with a number of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna) representatives have confirmed that this would cost somewhere between US$20 million and US$40 million, less than one year’s salary for the Disney CEO Robert Iger.
Walt Disney himself spoke of creating a place “Where Dreams Come True”, but in the case of The Lion King, maybe this will become “Where Dreams Meet Reality” given the plummeting populations of wild lions and the realistic possibility of extinction. How would Walt Disney himself respond to future generations (Disney’s key customers) asking why they only have documentaries and movies to remember iconic species and the King himself?
And don’t get us started on the stupidity of resurrecting Dumbo!
See our letter to Mr Robert Igor, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.