Fans React Poorly to New D23 “Disney Geek” Host

For anyone unfamiliar, Disney Geek is a weekly video series from D23. The YouTube program covers “this week in Disney news” and serves as a great recap for anyone who wasn’t glued to WDWMagic or Twitter all week. The host, Jeffrey Epstein, was energized, informative, and most of all, geeky (true to the name of the series.) If you haven’t watched it before, here is an example.

However, after December 21st of last year, the series stopped. No warning was given to fans, and no explanation was given either. Fans commented on the last video with things like “why haven’t there been any more videos? or at least an update?” and “Where have you been?”

Yesterday, D23 released a new “Disney geek” with a new set, new hosts, and a new feeling. In my opinion, there is no comparison. One comment compared it to “Entertainment Tonight” in front of a green screen with paid actors, as opposed to Jeffrey, who hosted the show from his desk FILLED with Disney memorabilia and merchandise. Here’s a look at what the show is now:

Immediately, fans were noticeably upset. I tracked the views, comments, likes, and ratings of the video for the first few hours of it being posted.

Fans were tweeting…

Commenting on the video…

And even discussing it on Disney message boards.

To boot, a majority of the ratings on the video itself were “thumbs down” whereas the other Disney Geek videos have positive ratings.

This morning, the scene looked a little different. A few comments appeared praising Billy (one of the new hosts) but completely ignoring the other host, or the other comments. They also all referenced Jeffrey’s “bitter friends” and “vindictive clique.”

They even made homophobic comments about Jeffrey and his fans…

This reminds me of kids in elementary school who would pick on other people, but ultimately they were insecure themselves and just unleashing that on others. The fact that the (very few) positive comments were ALL about “No guys, Billy is GREAT! Don’t listen to Jeffrey’s friends!” leads me to believe that these comments were actually from Billy’s friends coming to his defense.

They even started marking negative comments as spam in an attempt to hide them. They were successful in that matter – the top comments, which were negative, have over 30 thumbs up, but have been hidden as spam. The top comments that now appear on the page (ones praising the change) only have 10 or less thumbs up. (Note to internet users, just because you disagree with a statement doesn’t make it spam.)

Homophobia and flaming aside, my biggest issue here is that Disney is quiet. I’d personally be alright with the change if they just told us WHY they did it. Instead, they left fans high and dry for the better part of five months, and then came back with a new series as if nothing had happened. Despite all the negative comments and tweets, D23 has yet to provide an explanation.

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About Adam Britten

Adam Britten is a self-proclaimed Disney geek. From a very young age, he fondly remembers visiting the parks with his family on an almost yearly basis. Currently a Master of Digital Marketing Student at Hult International Business School, Adam wishes on a star that he will one day work for the mouse's marketing department. He’s visited Disneyland, Walt Disney World, & Disneyland Paris; he hopes to complete the world tour. His favorite Disney movie is Alice in Wonderland. Can also be seen on: Twitter as @AdamBritten, www.AdamBritten.com, and his new blog about the intersection between social media and theme parks at SocialThemeParks.com.
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14 Responses to Fans React Poorly to New D23 “Disney Geek” Host

  1. msamericanpatriot1970 says:

    Hey I am a self proclaimed Disney Geek. I would do a better job than those two. I have kept up with the parks since I was 6. I am almost 42 now. Give me a pair of ears with a mortarboard on them from the college of Disney Knowledge and I could host it easily.

  2. Harryk says:

    Goes to show ya — change for the sake of change is not always good.
    Get Jeffrey back at his desk and project his enthusiasm. Current hosts put me to sleep……….

  3. ECR says:

    Wow. Not liking the change. Jeffrey was a much better host – I think he shared much more enthusiasm. I’d like to know why they made the change and if Jeffrey is still involved with D23. He’d be a big loss!!!

  4. Samantha says:

    I have yet to even watch the video because it looks, like they said, like ET. I love Jeffrey, I had the chance to meet him a couple of times and he is as awesome in person as he was on the videos. I hope Disney realizes their mistake, or at least gives us fans some answer as to the change in lineup.

  5. Tony says:

    Why is it a mistake to have new host? The old host was way over the top and kinda strange. I always thought of him as a Disney version of a Trekkie. I don’t care for the new host hired but think it should go in the direction of being a more polished show.

    • Adam Britten says:

      Tony,

      I think “Disney version of a Trekkie” makes a PERFECT host for a segment called “Disney Geek.” After all, this is the web series from D23, the exclusive club for fans of Disney. The people it should be targeting are real engaged fans of Disney…well, Disney geeks.

      This should not be “mainstream” in any sense of the word, but that’s the way Disney has taken it.

  6. John says:

    I agree with everyone.

    A) These two new hosts are so green and reading off their cue cards, it’s not even funny.

    B) I’ve never watched one of these videos before, but the first thing I thought when the original guy came on the air was “He’s not enthusiastic, he’s just gay.” If that makes me homophobic, whatever. The fact is, his flamboyance shouldn’t be what I’m noticing.

    I disagree with Adam though about what a Disney Geek should and shouldn’t be. I’m plenty Disney geek and I’m 100% mainstream and think anyone who acts weird to be… well weird. I think Disney is doing what’s best for them and that’s to not make it “weird” to be a Disney Geek.

  7. Irene says:

    I also miss Jeffrey and wonder what happened to him. I met him once at a Disneyland group thing and he was really nice.

  8. Jenn says:

    Give them time to warm up a bit. I personally didn’t like Jeffrey at ALL so stopped watching the videos after only a few came out. Glad there’s new hosts but they do seem dry and boring. Hopefully they’ll figure out how to liven things up soon.

  9. Moonliner55` says:

    I thought jeffrey was a little too enthusiastic, but after watching the new version, I’d rather see jeffrey back.

    I’m not sure where you got “homophobic” out of that comment. Absit rude, but criticizing one guy and loving the new one while telling everyone to stop the drama doesn’t seem homophobic to me. I interpreted as a rude comment, not a homophobic remark.

  10. Janks says:

    I don’t think the love of Jeffery and the dislike of the new hosts have to be mutually exclusive. Jeffery had a zeal about him that made you believe he was a true fan of the show. He was high energy. His tone was as if he was a friend trying to inform you about everything that had happened since the last video. It was a much more informal approach.

    The new hosts seem to be less invested in the message. Although they are clear, I’d hardly call them excited. Perhaps they are new to the broadcast medium? I’ve seen more excitement from Disneyland’s “Every Cast Member is a Star” videos that highlight park workers. Billy’s Yoda impression (around 2 min mark) shows that the hosts were chosen for their humor, but need to let loose a little bit. Never judge a series by the pilot.

    Being kept out of the loop makes it difficult to know if the replacement show was a purposeful decision or a compromise. Looking into the official Disney blog, I noticed that Jeffery’s last post was in April regarding D23′s Destination D event: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/04/d23s-destination-d-returns-to-the-disneyland-resort-celebrating-75-years-of-disney-animated-features/

    His header says he’s a marketing manager. Not sure if this is a promotion or always have been his title. Perhaps he’s taking a different role in the company and producing a show isn’t part of his job anymore.

  11. Pingback: D23 Remains Quiet About Changes to Disney Geek Series | The Disney Blog

  12. DisneyDiva says:

    Jeffrey Epstein please let us hear from you. We want you back in front of a camera — somewhere. You are a true Disney Geek and we are all a big part of the Disney family.

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