*Warning: This story will discuss sexual assault allegations; please be advised.*
The Disney community is shaken after news surfaces of allegations about a CEO of a popular Disney travel agency. When you think of Disney, you think of magic, the Parks, your favorite childhood movies, and unforgettable experiences. As The Walt Disney Company is always growing and changing, there are constantly new updates to report on.
With reports and information, unfortunately, has come the demise of a popular CEO who was a trusted voice in the Disney community. As a Disney fan, it’s important to find a trusted influence when you’re looking for tips, tricks, and helpful tools for anything Disney. With these recent allegations, Disney fans alike are deeply saddened by the news of sexual allegations, debt, and lawsuits with the Disney mogul.
Who is Pete Werner?
Peter Werner is the former owner of The Dis Unplugged, DVC Fan, DCL Fan, Disboards, and Dreams Unlimited Travel. He is known for being the now former host of The Dis Unplugged podcast. Pete discovered Disney after visiting Orlando as a recovering addict. He soon created businesses revolving around the most magical place on earth. “Alongside his former partner John Magi and a third silent partner, he co-founded Dreams Unlimited Travel, which focuses on planning Disney-based vacations,” as reported.
Me Too Movement
In 2017 the rise of a new movement called the Me Too Movement began as sexual allegations came out against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Initially, the growing movement’s phrase was used in 2006 by Tarana Burke, who shared to her Myspace her experience of being a survivor of sexual assault. Years later, in 2017, actress Alyssa Milano resurfaced the phrase as she urged women to come together after being victimized in Hollywood.
Weinstein was not the only Hollywood mogul named in the movement, as many others were now in the limelight due to the rapid takeoff of the movement. Being called out on unacceptable, appalling behavior was the start of the Me Too Movement. The Me Too Movement gave victims a platform to speak on behalf of their experiences with abuse and sexual harassment and, for once, not fear those that have been silencing their pain for so long.
Allegations Against Pete Werner
As reports roll in with allegations, we sadly see the #MeToo Movement appear in the Disney community. On Wednesday, August 2, news began flooding the internet. A message was sent out nearly immediately by the co-owner and President of the Dreams Unlimited Travel Inc. agency, John Magi. The message included that Pete Werner would be resigning effective immediately.
Effective immediately, Peter Werner has resigned his position as CEO of Dreams Unlimited Travel, Inc. and as Owner/Editor-in-Chief of The DIS (as well as all related websites and properties). John Magi, President and Co-Owner of Dreams Unlimited Travel, will continue to run the day-to-day operations of Dreams Unlimited Travel, Inc. and assume the CEO responsibilities as well.
Corey Martin, the President of The DIS, will maintain his role with both The DIS and its affiliated sites while taking on executive responsibilities. Mr. Werner’s ownership interest in the above businesses is currently being divested. If you have any questions about Dreams Unlimited Inc, please contact John Magi at John@DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com. For questions about The DIS, please contact Corey Martin at Corey@disneyinfo.com.
Upon the immediate resignation, the floodgates opened with thoughts, experiences, and opinions through the Disney community. The initial shock was sent through Disney fans, as Werner was a longtime Disney lover and feel like a trusting voice in the community. He began his company in 1999 but soon came to the demise in now 2023.
Sexual Assault, Debt, and Lawsuits
As the internet has swirled with information, Werner was forced to resign due to allegations of sexual assault. According to multiple sources, he sexually assaulted numerous men who worked under him at The Dis. Furthermore, it was said he would purchase expensive gifts and use kindness as blackmail when people wanted to come forward or end things.
According to the platform Tattle, one of Werner’s workers and former partners, Dustin West, came forward to speak about his abuse. “In July 2023, Dustin began posting to Tattle, where he revealed that Pete had coerced him into a relationship and sexually abused him,” the platform wrote. Later this would be one major reason for his immediate resignation from the company.
Furthermore, social media continued with the conversation, as another previous employee came forward with a slue of tweets, as seen below.
I’m going to come clean. I worked for The DIS for almost 2 years. What follows is all alleged. It was a shit show. Pete Werner was an abusive boss. He constantly judged you for your work. Demanded you work over 40 hours a week. And pitted co-workers against one another.
— Attraction Faction (@AttractFaction) August 3, 2023
The previous employee AttractionFaction on Twitter went on to write,
I spoke my mind and was chastised from the company for it. And it’s not just Pete. He has followers that do his bidding. When I expressed my opinion, I was thrown under the bus by my coworkers. The Dis is a disgusting place in my opinion. They all hate each other.
Pete will blind with gifts in the beginning as all abusers do. He then denigrates you for any small mistake you make. In my opinion I’ve never met a more sour human being than him.
Pete has done his own damage. But what I think is almost more damming is that all his subordinates let him get away with it. Some of my coworkers choose money over what was right. And they’ve disregarded and hurt multiple people because of it. Pete fostered a culture of hatred, and it trickled down.
Just remember: everything you’ve heard about Pete Werner is probably true. And his subordinates knew it was happening and worked to hide it for monetary value. The only reason I was afraid to say anything was legal action. But everything I’m saying is alleged and an opinion.
It’s been hard to keep my mouth shut because of legal repercussions. But there comes a time where people are being hurt and you need to state your opinion.
More Allegations Follow
Who was aware?
As the allegations continue, questions of who knew what was happening are being asked. Current employee Ryan Clavin went live on his YouTube channel to share his sadness and thoughts on the experiences.
While many fans are looking for answers, Corey Fiascanaro, a former producer for the Dis Unplugged, also came forward to share his thoughts. He wrote,
Hey all. Obviously I’m me. I’ve been reading up on all the allegations that’s been coming out and it’s made me sick for a number of reasons. I’m still running through the events I personally experienced and trying to make sense of them in the context of everything that’s come out. I applaud people’s bravery and courage for sharing such personal aspects of their life in the hope that others don’t suffer the same. These people will always have an ear to vent to in me if they ever need it and I hope I’d have one too.
With that being said, you shouldn’t be assuming people on the team knew what happened and bashing them. Everyone is and was dealing with stuff of their own and it’s up to them to share that as they are ready too. For all you know other people have their own traumatic experiences and you are just assuming something else based on video from a show where people talk about theme parks. You really have no idea what people have been through except what information they have voluntarily provided. Just because someone works in a field that puts them in the public eye, doesn’t mean that they are not people who could be going through their own traumas, pressures, fears, etc.
Be kind to eachother, do right by one another, and support people who have been hurt.
Just to reiterate, all of these allegations are just that, and the story is certainly still developing around these awful experiences. What’s hopeful for fans of the companies formerly impacted by Pete Werner is seeing the focus on high-quality Disney content and their clear intolerance to this type of behavior.
The Dis showing their support at this time gives hope to moving forward in a positive light for their employees, all past and future.