CEO Bob Chapek Responds to Allegations of Disney Being ‘Too Woke’

Matthew Soberman

CEO Bob Chapek Responds to Allegations of Disney Being ‘Too Woke’

At The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live 2022 streaming event, Disney CEO Bob Chapek defended the company against allegations of being “too woke.”

When asked about the matter, Chapek noted that content is the company’s north star, stating that Disney’s creative projects are designed to reflect the “rich diverse world” people live in. He added that “Disney is a company that has survived for 100 years by catering to its audience, and it’s going to thrive [for] the next 100 years by catering to its audience.”

The company has come under criticism in recent years, with critics arguing that Disney is pushing too far left on the political spectrum in its push for increased diversity and cultural sensitivities. Some moves that have fallen under criticism include the announcement of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, starring a black Disney Princess, coming to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The ride replaces Splash Mountain, which is based on “Song of the South,” a film that has not had an official release in any form in decades due to calls of racist depictions against African Americans. Earlier this year, Disney also spoke out against Florida’s HB 1557, commonly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits educators from discussing issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in certain grade levels. In their statement, Disney said their “goal” was for the law to be repealed or overturned in court.

Nonetheless, Chapek’s answer seems to indicate that he sees these recent moves not as being “woke,” but as necessary to accommodate the “largest possible audience” and profit in an evolving world, though he hopes Disney will be a unifying force in an increasingly divided time. Having “diverse stories and diverse characters” seems to factor into this.

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16 thoughts on “CEO Bob Chapek Responds to Allegations of Disney Being ‘Too Woke’”

  1. Perhaps Bobby Paycheck does not actually know the definition of “Woke”
    And the LARGE majority of Disney fans are not who he is trying to cater to. They are just the loudest.

  2. Anyone using the term “woke” is signaling to you that they are a bigot and most likely a white supremest.
    Disney is not pleasing it’s fans. It is pleasing it’s shareholders. Get it correct, Bob.

  3. “Largest Possible Audience”- that must be what the shareholders meeting was for, to complain to Chapek about the zillions of dollars everything is making, they just don’t know what to do with all the money they make

  4. He should WAKE UP and smell the coffee. I believe he is killing the “Disney Way” for me and so many loyal fans. This is NOT part of “Walt’s Dream” When so many people who now cannot afford to go, he is killing the dream for so many lower income families just to turn a higher profit for himself and his followers. I wish he would read these comments, but I know even if he did, he would not care. I wish that my grandkids would be able to enjoy going to the parks like I did but it looks like it will be way passed their price range to ever be able to afford it.

  5. Fire the jerk. All the changes under him are horrific. Hey Bob you didn’t multiply your audience you most likely reduced it severely

  6. Profits are down, the movies are losing money.

    Go woke, go broke indeed.

    Btw no one cares that people of color get representation. The issue is the grooming stuff and frankly rewriting the past vs coming up with new diverse characters.

  7. Well if you’re catering to your audience Bob you might want to listen to them.
    A) they/we hate this Woke crap
    B) they/we hate the reservation system
    C) they/we want full daily housekeeping and cleaner parks.
    D) they/we hate the Disney Genie+ and they/we hate paying for it.
    E) they/we want the dining plan to return to the parks at a price that’s somewhat affordable f)they/we really hate ALL of the cash grabs and the ridiculous pricing of everything
    g)they/we want the free package delivery service to return from the parks, Disney springs to the resorts
    h) they/we want the attention to detail to return i)they/we want Johnny Depp to return to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow
    j)they/we want a public apology to Johnny Depp for the way he was treated.
    K) they/we want to be heard, not dismissed. You, Bob are not always right.

  8. I’m not sure I would say they are too woke, although a few changes I think are silly. Splash Mountain though should be changed just due to the fact even people my age, 40 probably have never seen the movie. Regardless of what you think about the “racist” aspect of it, it just isn’t a movie most can relate too or have seen.

  9. This man as tuned fl Disney from fun to all about money all the services have gone down hill and the prices gone up. Doing away with the old passes suck and then the reservation system sucks even more. Disney needs to go back the way it was. I get prices go up that’s fine but don’t change everything so it about money.

  10. What a fool. There is a HUGE difference in “catering to its audience” and being a completely nonsensical woke entity that continues to alienate its core customer base and divide fans.

  11. But is it catering to the largest audience? I really don’t think the majority appreciates the direction Disney is going. Even friends I have that lean left on politics thinks Disney needs to stop with this nonsense.
    Disney isnt being influenced by society. THEY influence society and they know it. They are pushing agenda ms that the majority don’t want in childrens entertainment

  12. Chapek makes me sick. The Disney that he’s creating bares no resemblance to the company that Walt formed. That’s the company that has thrived for 100 years. If Disney is to survive for the next 100 years, Chapek has got to go.

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