Hollywood’s Brutal Web3 Hangover

CRYPTO KEEPERS From left: Reese Witherspoon, Michael Kives, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bored Apes, Bob Chapek. Photo illustration by Dawn Camner. (Getty Images: Axelle/BauerGriffin; Steven Ferdman; Pool; Vivien Killilea; Bored Apes, OpenSea)

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When Bob Chapek announced in 2022 that veteran media executive Mike White would oversee Disney’s “metaverse” efforts, the former Disney CEO could barely restrain himself. In an internal memo Chapek called the metaverse the “next great storytelling frontier” that would “create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories” before adding that he’d been “blown away by what I’ve seen.” Thirteen months later, shortly after Bob Iger’s return as CEO, all 50 employees in Disney’s metaverse department were let go and although White was at first reportedly going to be assigned a new role, The Ankler has learned that he too has since left the company.

One of the guiding dictums of Silicon Valley entrepreneurialism is “if you’re going to fail… fail fast.” It’s safe to say that when it comes to Hollywood’s courtship of Web3, the industry has (so far) failed…

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