The 20th Century Fox nameplate has been a Hollywood brand since the studio was created by a merger in 1935. No more. The Walt Disney Company is dropping "Fox" from the properties it added last year, Variety reports. That includes Fox Searchlight Pictures, which already is becoming Searchlight Pictures. The poster for the studio's next film, Downhill, says just Searchlight Pictures, and, more decisively, fox.com is gone from employees' email addresses. The familiar monolith 20th Century logo will stay, complete with klieg lights and trumpet fanfare, which was written in 1933. Disney hasn't decided about changing the names of 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios.
In effect, Disney paid $71.3 billion for 20th Century Fox's assets last March but would like to return the name, or at least part of it. The idea is to avoid having anyone think Disney and Fox News are connected, per the New York Times. Fox News has become a polarizing brand that has made even the name "Fox" a problem for its new owner. The creator of Modern Family, for example, made by a Fox studio now owned by Disney, tweeted in 2018 that he was "disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews." The network also has been peppered with sexual harassment allegations, and there's a movie—Bombshell—out now about them. None of that fits with the family-friendly image Disney wants to project. (Read more 20th Century Fox stories.)