Disney removed the word “Fox” from the name of the famed 20th Century Fox movie studio, Variety magazine reported Friday.
- The studio will now be known as 20th Century Studios, multiple outlets confirmed.
- Changing the name appears to be a conscious effort to distance the studio from Rupert Murdoch, who sold it to Disney in early 2019.
- In recent years, Murdoch has shed vast swathes of his media empire, which is now focused on the Fox News cable network and a stable of influential newspapers.
- Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.
Disney executives have axed the word “Fox” from the famed 20th Century Fox movie production studio, a move which distances the company from its former owner Rupert Murdoch.
The change was reported on Friday by Variety magazine and later confirmed by multiple other outlets.
It shows Disney stamping its authority on the company, which it bought along with a vast array of other entertainment assets once owned by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox parent company.
The replacement name for 20th Century Fox, familiar from the opening credits of countless blockbusters, will be 20th Century Studios.
A similar rebrand also took place at Fox Searchlight Pictures, which specialises in arthouse films, and will now be known as Searchlight Pictures.
According to Variety, the change is a conscious effort to distance the brands from Murdoch’s legacy, which is also tied up with the Fox News network, often a lightning rod for controversy, and unpopular in Hollywood.
An unnamed Disney source told the magazine: “I think the Fox name means Murdoch, and that is toxic.”
The switch helps bring home the reality that Murdoch’s status as a media mogul is diminished since the sale.
His decades-long foray into movies and entertainment, which saw his legacy bound up in hits like “Avatar,” “Titanic,” and the Star Wars franchise, is now symbolically as well as technically over.
Separately, a few months before the Disney sale, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox also sold its stake in the Sky TV cable network, which has substantial market share in Europe.
Murdoch continues to retain substantial media influence via his ownership of Fox’s TV news properties, and newspapers including The Times of London, The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post.