A new rumor claims that The Walt Disney Company silencing a number of their Disney Legends by pretending to offer them opportunities to work on new projects, but in reality sidelining them and using a new contract to keep them from criticizing the company.

Bob Iger via 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders Webcast

For those unfamiliar with the term “Disney Legends” its a Hall of Fame program created by The Walt Disney Company in 1987 and inducts new members annually.

Some well-known members of Disney Legends include Dick Van Dyke, Tim Allen, Kurt Russell, Julie Andrews, Roy Williams, Bill Walsh, Carl Banks, Ollie Johnston Jr., Frank Thomas, Frank Churchill, Phil Collins, Jim Henson, Jodi Benson, Johnny Depp, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Robert Downey Jr., Hans Zimmer, and Idina Menzel.

Josh Gad and Bob Iger attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

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According to scooper WDW Pro many of the Disney Legends, who might otherwise have been critical of the company, are being silenced.

He explains, “Disney, we are told, has been going to Disney Legends, people who worked with the company for a very long time, have extremely storied careers, names that you would know, and Disney is hiring these individuals or has been hiring these individuals over the last number of years. Hiring them for one purpose.”

“So let’s say that it’s a project that they have brought them on and those Legends believe they’re going to be a part of doing something big, something tremendous. And then the company, we are told, has been sidelining those Legends that they don’t actually end up working on the project at all even if they are credited,” WDW Pro elaborates.

“And that those Disney Legends then are simply signed to the contract to control their speech because the contract forbids them from speaking negatively about the company and thereby these Legends have been brought into the fold to work on things believing that they are back, they’re back in the game and then the truth is that they’re further, they’re father removed from the game than ever before,” he continues.

“Disney using these contracts simply as a way to silence those who made the company what it is,” WDW Pro reiterates.

Kevin Feige, Alan Bergman and Bob Iger attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

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Later in the video who would detail what his sources have informed again, “The way this is working for these individuals, we are told, the way this is working for individuals of an older age, who are being brought back under contract to work on these things. Is that they don’t work on them then.”

“They’re shelved immediately, and then they understand that they are retired, let’s say,” WDW Pro relays. “And given that they are on a degree of wealth, which cannot easily be expanded because once you reach a certain age you’re living off of that which you have required, these individuals are hesitant to break their contract, to break their NDA, to do anything that would make Disney less Disney go after these Disney Legends retirements.”

Pedro Pascal, Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy and Disney CEO Bob Iger arrive at the premiere of Lucasfilm’s first-ever, live-action series, “The Mandalorian”, at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA on November 13, 2019. “The Mandalorian” streams exclusively on Disney+.(photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

This isn’t the first time Disney has been accused of doing such a thing. Back in 2017, long-time Kermit the Frog puppeteer Steve Whitmire, who played the character since 1990 after Jim Henson’s death, appeared on Today where he addressed his firing from the role and noted that Disney attempted to get him to sign a NDA.

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Whitmire detailed at one point that The Walt Disney Company offered him what he described as “consolation prizes.” He explained, “They were also offering me things that I sort of called consolation prizes. They were going to honor me, give me Disney Legends awards, things like that, but that required signing a NDA.”

“And what they really wanted was for me to frame this as I moved on and that I had retired, and it was just disingenuous. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

Kermit the Frog in the muppets. (2015), The Walt Disney Company

What do you make of this rumor that Disney is silencing its Disney Legends?

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.