At the end of June it was revealed that The Walt Disney Company’s Chief Diversity Officer Latondra Newton was no longer with the company. Now Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix’s have also seen their diversity heads leave their respective companies.

Mickey Mouse waves in front of Cinderella’s Castle via Disney Parks YouTube

Variety announced Newton had left The Walt Disney Company after they obtained an internal company memo on June 20th from the company’s HR chief Sonia Coleman.

Coleman wrote in the memo, “I’m writing to share the news that Latondra Newton has decided to leave The Walt Disney Company to pursue other endeavors.”

“Since joining the company in 2017, Latondra has led the company’s strategic diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including partnering with stakeholders across the enterprise to amplify stories of the world by people around the world. She has been dedicated to ensuring every person sees themselves and their life experiences represented in a meaningful and authentic way,” Coleman added.

Latondra Newton via Out & Equal Workplace Advocates YouTube

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Coleman went on to reveal that Julie Merges would take on Newton’s role on an interim basis as the company looked for a new DEI leader, “Latondra’s direct reports will report to Julie Merges on an interim basis until a new DEI leader is identified. I want to thank Julie for leading this team along with her Talent Acquisition organization.”

“Additionally, Shelby Curry and the DEI Internal Communications team will continue reporting to Carrie Brown in her role leading internal communications & engagement for the company,” Coleman wrote.

Latondra Newton via The Walt Disney Company

Following Newton’s exit, TheWrap reported that Netflix’s head of inclusion strategy Vernā Myers was stepping down from her position at the company in September. While she is exiting the company as head of inclusion strategy she will still advise the company albeit the report notes she will be focusing primarily on her consulting company, The Vernā Myers Company.

Unlike The Walt Disney Company, Netflix appears to have a replacement for Myers already lined up in Wade Davis. Davis is currently the Vice President of Inclusion Strategy and worked under Myers for four years.

Vernā Myers via TED YouTube

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In a statement Myers said, “It’s hard to step away from the company and this role because of how much I love Netflix and the people here. I’m so excited for the talented Wade Davis who will be taking the lead of the I-and-D work along with our incredible inclusion strategy team and I can’t wait to see the continued progress we all will make together.”

Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer Sergio Ezama also stated, “Vernā has had an immense impact on Netflix over the last five years and I’m glad we’ll still get to work together and benefit from her deep expertise. I’m very grateful for everything that she’s done to help strengthen our collective inclusion acumen and capabilities so that we can make Netflix a place where everyone feels welcome and can thrive.”

He added, “Wade is a strong and well-respected leader at Netflix — so a great person to build on our commitment, taking our inclusion work to the next level.”

Wade Davis via Tech Open Air YouTube

At the end of June, Los Angeles Times reported that Warner Bros. Discovery axed its diversity leader Karen Horne, who was the company’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in North America.

According to the outlet’s sources her departure from the company was announced on June 28th and the company’s spokeswoman Megan Klein informed the outlet she was not let go due to Warner Bros. Discovery’s “cost-cutting but rather a rethinking and reorganization of the company’s diversity organization.”

Karen Horne via RespectAbility YouTube

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A memo sent to Warner Bros. Discovery staffers by the company’s Chief Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Asif Sadiq read, “Karen is a talented executive who is committed to our shared goals of creating an even more inclusive company and an accessible and equitable industry. I thank Karen for the important role she played in establishing a strong foundation while integrating the legacy companies’ teams and programs, and wish her the very best.”

Sadiq added, “Importantly, these changes do not alter our commitment to or our plans for pipeline programs and content-driven initiatives — these are fundamental pillars of our DE&I strategy and will continue to be areas of investment and focus.”

Asif Sadiq via TEDx Talks YouTube

Sadiq recently made an appearance at Royal Russel School Croydon and discussed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments noting that companies in the United States spent over $8 billion training their employees to be racists.

He said, “Every organization trying to drive change, trying to create a workplace that’s more inclusive, a society that’s more inclusive. In the US alone $8 billion were spent on diversity training and many more billions globally to try and create that equity that everyone wants to see, feel in the workplace.”

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Sadiq went on to admit that the programs are not successful, “It’s not driving the change that we want to see. We are not achieving the success that people want to feel in the workplace.”

As for why it fails, he admits it’s racist, “Why is that? Well, I argue that very training is biased. It’s built with stereotypes. It has assumptions. It’s not always diverse or inclusive. And many times it does the very opposite of inclusion.”

Issa Rae as President Barbie in Barbie (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

Clearly, these departments are giant money pits for these corporations and the “benefits” they believed they were getting from them have actually significantly eroded many of these company’s perceptions among the public.

It will be interesting to see if these companies will continue to can people in these departments or if they would double down on their admitted failing and racist strategies.

Cleopatra (Adele James) and Mark Antony (Craig Russell) introduce their children in Queen Cleopatra (2023), Netflix

Cleopatra (Adele James) and Mark Antony (Craig Russell) introduce their children in Queen Cleopatra (2023), Netflix

What do you make of these cuts at The Walt Disney Company, Netflix, and Warner Bros. Discovery?

NEXT: Netflix’s ‘Queen Cleopatra’ Star Adele James Dismisses Egyptian Complaints About Docuseries’ Race-Swapping: “Blackwashing Isn’t A Thing”


  • About The Author

    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.