Disney Can Learn a Lot About Content From Influencers

Trismegist san/Shutterstock kersonyanovicha/Shutterstock JosepPerianes/Shutterstock The Walt Disney Company/Wikimedia Commons Remix by Caterina Cox

Yesterday, writer Tatiana Siegel took a deep dive into the various challenges now facing Marvel Studios. In just about every case, it’s fairly straightforward to draw comparisons to headaches facing Disney corporate and the kinds of situations that everyday influencers, reactors, and other digital natives encounter every day. 

First and most prominently, there’s the Jonathan Majors problem. The current narrative arc within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) largely concerns the threat posed to the multiverse by various iterations of the villain Kang, played by Majors so far in the film “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” and the TV series “Loki.” In 2026, Disney has already announced the release of a major “Avengers” team-up film, titled “The Kang Dynasty.”

Majors will stand trial later this month on assault charges in New York, stemming from an incident in March in which he allegedly struck his then-girlfriend. So far, the studio has not responded, apparently hoping that the situation resolves itself off-screen. But with Majors being dropped by his publicists and managers, and more victims allegedly cooperating with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, it’s starting to seem like inaction won’t be an option very soon. Disney already dropped plans to theatrical release another film featuring Majors, the independently-produced “Magazine Dreams.”

Of course, multiple YouTube channels have also faced similar situations, in which credible allegations against a collaborator force creators to make complex decisions in real-time with imperfect information. The MCU drama immediately brings to mind the “Try Guys” scandal of just one year ago, in which one member of a foursome – Ned Fulmer – was credibly accused of cheating on his wife with a staffer, both of whom were also on-camera personalities involved with the brand.

No one is saying that the allegations against Fulmer and Majors are similar. But the complicated resulting situation is pretty similar; the accused’s creative partners and collaborators must figure out a way to move their project forward while remaining as sensitive as possible to the actual human stakeholders involved, all without seeming callous or uncaring, like the value the project more than the human lives at stake. 

Ultimately, the three remaining Try Guys cut Fulmer loose and continued the franchise on their own. It seems to have largely been a successful tactic. The channel is still producing new content and receiving solid views, and though they have yet to add a full new fourth Try Guy, they have brought in new talent like Kwesi James to keep things fresh.

Disney can’t exactly just drop Kang from the MCU without explanation, but recasting is a possibility, as is shifting the role of the next MCU big bad to a different comic book villain. (Dr. Doom is already being tossed out there as a possibility.)

But Marvel’s problems go far deeper than simply personnel. The company is also paying the price for overextending its brand and spreading its crucial creative voices too thin, exceedingly common problems among just about all creators at every level.

According to Variety, in the early days of the COVID pandemic, the higher-ups at Disney decided to boost their stock price by announcing a glut of new Marvel content for the Disney+ streaming service. The goal was to have zero pause between Marvel projects: as soon as one came out, the studio was already gearing up for the next release.

Even Disney CEO Bob Iger has since conceded that Marvel then started cranking out too much content, too quickly. One Wall Street analyst quoted in the Variety piece suggests that the audience simply became “burn[ed] out on superheroes,” while blog posts and think pieces about “superhero fatiguemultiplied exponentially. It was an essential reminder that, though the budgets, resources, and related circumstances behind making major Hollywood films and content for platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok are wildly divergent, all content creation is pretty similar when you get right down to it. 

But beyond just overwhelming viewers and diluting their most valuable characters and brands, the studio’s creative team was also spreading themselves too thin. In terms of quality control, Marvel executives had gone from overseeing a handful of films each year to producing those films plus an entire slate of several ongoing television shows. Last year, Ben Affleck was referring to Netflix when he talked about an “assembly line” approach to producing content that makes quality control an “impossible job.” But he could just as easily have been discussing Disney+ or even a YouTube channel cranking out weekly videos with just a few key creative minds involved. It’s all the same problem.

Managing consistent content schedules without overwhelming your audience mentally and physically exhausting yourself is at the very center of putting together any kind of career in digital media. Creator burnout has been a recognized issue in the influencer world for years. Even as Disney was massively ratcheting up its MCU schedule, friend-of-Passionfruit Taylor Lorenz was talking to weary TikTok creators for the New York Times who discovered that the constant demands of their audience and release schedules were impossible to maintain. 


It takes 1-3 years to recover from burnout, but recognising that slide into it is really hard. Here are the 5 stages to burnout- have a watch and see where you’re at. If you’re stage 1-3 you have a great opportunity to make some changes before you hit a crisis We also have a burnout quiz in BobbyChat, which will give you a score and some advice about what to do next! Bobby is an AI that talks you through therapy-inspired techniques on WhatsApp. Head over to www.bobby-chat.com to sign up for free! Your conversations are anonymous and confidential. #doctorsoftiktok #workstress #burnout #burnoutfromwork #burnoutsyndromes #worklife #workburnout #mentalhealthatwork #stress #stressrelief #careermistakes #burnoutprevention #youneedtoseethis

♬ original sound – drclaireashley

Marvel’s team will now employ the same kinds of strategies as burned-out YouTubers did a generation ago: reigning in their expansive ambitions, and focusing more on individual project quality. Just as Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson opted to close his burger shops, so he could zero in on his “Feastables” line, Marvel Studios content chief Kevin Feige plans to slow down and dedicate more of his time and focus on each new MCU project, while churning out fewer shows and films per year. (His current focus is the “Blade” reboot, starring Mahershala Ali, which was originally scheduled for release later this year but has now been kicked back to 2025.)

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