Co-chair of Disney Media Networks. President of Disney/ABC Television Group. These might sound like dream jobs, the final goal, the Holy Grail in the world of entertainment (or any world). But, for Anne Sweeney, these jobs are just another chapter in her ever-changing life. Sweeney graces the March 21-28 cover of The Hollywood Reporter, where she explains why she decided to leave Disney after an 18-year-long career.
Mostly, it all comes down to passion. Throughout her interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sweeney reiterates how much she loves and has loved Disney, and that her break with the $12 billion television dynasty is not ill-willed or linked to a broken relationship with CEO Bob Iger. When asked about rumors of a sour relationship between herself and the CEO, Sweeney says, “I think [rumors] swirl because we’re so stable, to be honest. You have a night with bad ratings and suddenly it’s the end of the world. It isn’t. We are a company that takes a long-term view. The relationship stuff, I have no idea where that comes from. I think other people’s agenda, to be honest.”
What will she do next? Sweeney hopes to follow her passion for television by directing. This transition from high-powered executive to television director? She hopes to work her way up, because she knows it won’t be an overnight switch. Sweeney will lean on her friends in the industry to help her get the experience she needs before dipping her toes in the directing pool. She cited “Scandal” creator and director, Shonda Rimes, as one such friend.
Only time will tell how Sweeney’s directorial career pans out. We’re all just waiting to see who will replace her at Disney!