Fact check: Fact check: Disney+ has gained subscribers, not lost them
The claim: Disney+ lost 350,000 subscribers in a week
A meme being shared on Facebook claims Disney+ lost 350,000 subscribers in a week.
“350,000 cancellations of Disney+ in the past week,” reads the text of the meme, which is accompanied by a political cartoon.
A July 16 post has been shared more than 1,500 times and accumulated more than 10,000 reactions, and a July 20 post has been shared more than 400 times.
But the claim isn't accurate. Disney's latest quarterly financial report shows Disney+ gained 7.9 million subscribers in the first three months of the year. The company does not share information about the number of subscribers to its streaming service aside from those reports, the company said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Disney has recently faced criticism from conservatives, some of whom have threatened to boycott the company for taking a public stance on Florida's Parental Rights in Education law, known to critics as the "Don't Say Gay" law.
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USA TODAY reached out to several users who shared the claim for comment.
Disney streaming service gained subscribers
The 7.9 million subscribers gained by Disney+ in the first three months of the year brought the total number of subscribers up to 137.7 million as of April 2, up from 103.6 million a year earlier, according to the company's latest financial report.
Disney, though, recently made headlines for reasons unrelated to the growth of its streaming service.
In late March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill, known to critics as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, restricting classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. Disney, which is Florida's largest private employer, was initially criticized for its response to the legislation, but has since called for it to be repealed.
DeSantis, a Republican, criticized "woke" Disney's position on the legislation, saying the company bought into “false narratives” about the bill.
"You have companies like a Disney that are gonna say and criticize parents' rights, they're gonna criticize the fact that we don't want transgenderism in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms," he said.
Fact check: Post claiming Disney lost $2.4 billion is stolen satire
DeSantis went a step further in late April when he signed legislation that revoked Disney’s self-governing authority, canceling privileges given to the company decades ago to govern the land surrounding its Florida-based theme park. The law, which takes effect in June 2023, will cost Disney tens of millions of dollars a year.
The claim that Disney+ lost subscribers, along with other claims of Disney's downfall, comes after some conservatives threatened to boycott Disney in response to its criticism of the "Don't Say Gay" law.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Disney+ lost 350,000 subscribers in a week. Disney does not share information about subscribers outside of quarterly financial reports. The company's latest report shows Disney+ gained 7.9 million subscribers in the first three months of the year.
Our fact-check sources:
Disney, Aug. 3, Email exchange with USA TODAY
The Walt Disney Company, May 11, The Walt Disney Company Reports Second Quarter and Six Months Earnings for Fiscal 2022
The Walt Disney Company, March 28, Statement From The Walt Disney Company On Signing Of Florida Legislation
Variety, May 11, Disney+ Powers to Nearly 138 Million Subscribers, Beating Streaming Expectations for March Quarter
The Wall Street Journal, April 19, Florida Gov. DeSantis Seeks to End Walt Disney World’s Special Tax District
USA TODAY, April 25, Fact check: Post claiming Disney lost $2.4 billion is stolen satire
USA TODAY Network, March 28, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs 'Don't Say Gay' bill into law, lashes out at 'fake narratives'
USA TODAY, March 22, 'We want action': Disney employees stage walkouts, demand more LGBTQ support
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 22, DeSantis says he will soon sign so-called 'Don't Say Gay' bill, again criticizes Disney
USA TODAY, April 22, Why is DeSantis fighting Disney? It's a warning to 'woke' big business to stay out of culture wars
James Angel, Aug. 1, Email exchange with USA TODAY
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Disney+ has gained subscribers, not lost them