Fact Check: Did Michael Jordan really turn down USD 120M deal with Disney to become new face of the company?

Explore whether Michael Jordan rejected a $120M Disney deal to be the new face of the company. Get the facts on this claim.


In April 2023, a headline surfaced claiming that basketball legend Michael Jordan had turned down a whopping $120 million advertising campaign with Disney, citing concerns about the company's perceived embrace of "wokeness." 

The story originated from a satirical website called The Dunning-Kruger Times, known for its fictional and exaggerated content.


The report suggested that Disney was attempting to rebrand itself after facing challenges related to its involvement with "wokeness." 

Allegedly, over a span of two years, Disney experienced a decline in park attendance, movie failures, and a CEO replacement. To bounce back, the company planned to enlist influential figures to support its return to family values, but Michael Jordan, a prime candidate, declined the offer.

As per the alleged spokesperson for Jordan mentioned in the fictional report, Joe Barron said:

"It’s far too woke for him. Mike is done with the social justice warrior stuff. People need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and use their natural abilities to play professional sports if they want to get ahead. It’s that simple."

Allegedly, the deal, if accepted, would have required Jordan to commit to a decade of participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Disney float and making multiple appearances at Disney World, including staying in Cinderella’s castle with family and friends. Barron expressed that the compensation offered was not sufficient to overlook what he considered a significant amount of "wokeness."



Contrary to the satirical report, it is important to note that Estee Portnoy, and not Joe Barron, serves as Michael Jordan's publicist.

Estee Portnoy is a senior executive in the Michael Jordan Family Office. She has been instrumental in managing Jordan's brand for over 24 years, handling marketing, media relations, and philanthropic activities. 

The Dunning-Kruger Times, part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network, is a satire website run by Christopher Blair, a self-professed liberal troll. The network aims to create satirical content with headlines designed to provoke reactions from Republicans, conservatives, and evangelical Christians on social media. The Dunning-Kruger Times publishes the fictional nature of its content, labeling it as satire and warning readers not to take it seriously.


To wrap it up, there's no real proof that Michael Jordan said no to a $120 million deal with Disney as the story originated from a satirical source with a history of creating fictional and exaggerated content.


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