The Clarion

Sale may not be good for some of Fox’s franchises

Matt Withers, Arts Editor

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When it first broke that The Walt Disney Company was acquiring 21st Century Fox, I was pretty excited to say the least. As a lifelong comic fan my mind was ignited by the idea that “X-men,” “Fantastic Four,” and even “Deadpool” could finally join the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” It’s every geeks’ dream come true. But then I thought for a bit longer and asked myself: what might this mean for the rest of the Fox entertainment franchise?

This deal between Disney and Fox means that Disney will own around 30 percent of the entertainment industry. I feel that this strays dangerously close to a monopoly of cinematic territory, with all the negative implications that come along with this. Audiences are mainly focused on the positive possibilities of Disney acquiring the film rights to Marvel properties, yet many don’t seem to realize that the deal also includes television rights to “ESPN,” “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons,” and other huge series. This deal also includes the majority holding of the streaming website Hulu.

Disney’s vast media holdings may create a cinematic fortress that creators find difficult to break into. Since the extreme success of “Deadpool” and “Logan,” Fox has been increasing their emphasis on “R” rated films. Disney has said that they plan on keeping things like “Deadpool” “R” rated, but Disney CEO Bob Iger sounded a bit nervous about associating “R” ratings with the Disney brand. He stated during an interview with the “Hollywood Reporter,” “as long as we can let audiences know what’s coming, I think we can manage it fine.” Yet the cultural contradiction may have an interesting effect on the kinds of movies produced and shown by the Fox brand in the future.

Even long-time associates with 21st Century Fox now have to consider aligning their products with Disney ideals. This may not seem like a big deal now, but it’s a possible stepping stone to a larger trend: the stagnation of entertainment. With Disney in charge, there is a chance that they will not take as many gambles as Fox has, and some of America’s most cherished entertainment comes from taking risks.

I could not be more excited at the possibility of Wolverine and Spiderman fighting back to back while Ironman flies overhead, but I am also concerned as a consumer. When it comes to entertainment, competition and diversity often lead artists to their best work, and I really hope that the Walt Disney brand doesn’t end up overtaking the entire industry.

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Sale may not be good for some of Fox’s franchises