Disney cuts 'Fox' from 20th Century Fox to distance itself from Fox News

The famous studio was purchased last year by Disney.
The famous studio was purchased last year by Disney. Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox will soon be dropping the name Fox from its name, in a bid to distance itself from Fox News.

The famous studio, formerly owned by Rupert Murdoch, was purchased last year by Disney for a massive US$71.3 billion (NZ$107.8 billion). Fox Searchlight, the company's art-house subsidiary, was also included in the deal.

But now, the studios will be officially known as 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures, a Disney spokesperson confirmed to The New York Times on Friday (local time). 

Although Disney did not make further comment, The New York Times reports that the reason is to distance the brand from Fox News.

The Murdoch-owned Fox News has gained a reputation for delivering polarising news over the years.

Originally founded as competition to CNN, the network is widely known for its conservative stance. That reputation has grown in strength in recent years, with many criticising the news outlet's reporting on Donald Trump.

Various high-ranking employees, such as Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, have also been accused of sexual harassment.

Fox News has also come under increasing fire from celebrities who have publicly spoken out against the company.

Steve Levitan, creator of the popular show Modern Family, which is produced in Fox's television studio, attacked the brand on Twitter in 2018, saying he was "disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews".

The creator of Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane, also publicly said he was "embarrassed" to work at 20 Century Fox after comments by Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson saying viewers should not trust other media outlets.

Movies first became associated with the name Fox in 1915, when William Fox started Fox Film Corporation. That company merged with 20th Century Pictures to form 20th Century Fox in 1935.

The company was bought by Murdoch in 1985.