After a year of tumbling stock prices and repeated spankings from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill, you would think that Disney would have learned its “go woke, go broke” lesson, but, instead, the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, doubled down on “diverse” content, claiming “how people think” about the media giant is “what’s important.”
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference, Chapek was asked about the criticism Disney has received for being “too woke.”
“My own personal feelings aren’t really important,” Chapek stated. “What’s important is how people think about our company.”
According to Chapek, Disney is only providing what the “consumer base” wants.
“I want to respect Legacy, I want to respect what this brand is,” Chapek answered, “but at the same time, I know that we may be even more precious about ‘what’s Disney’ than the consumer base is. And if the consumer base has more elasticity than we’ve traditionally had in terms of defining ‘what’s Disney,’ then we probably ought to listen to our audience, which means we have more degrees of freedom than we’ve probably thought.”
TIPP Insights: Trouble in mouse-land? ‘Woke’ Disney takes huge hit in trust https://t.co/gabs4IjMOU
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) April 14, 2022
WSJ Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray asked Chapek about Pinocchio‘s new ending and the “blowback” Disney received in the Middle East for “a same-sex kiss” in Buzz Lightyear that got the film banned.
“I may be wrong, but I think the new Pinocchio — he doesn’t change in the end,” Murray noted. “He just accepts himself for who he is, so the ending has changed a little bit with sort of contemporary mores. And you know, your people love to get out there and say Disney’s too woke. Disney’s become too politically correct.”
“Are they right? Do they have a point?” Murray asked. “What’s your take on that, those criticisms, and reaching that wide span of people?”
Again, Chapek insists it’s the Disney audience that wants to infuse the Magic Kingdom with wokeness.
“You know, I think the more complex something is, the more you have to really drill down into the basics,” Chapek replied. “And we want our content to reflect the rich, diverse world that we live in.”
“And again,” he continued, “I guess that’s another way of saying, ‘catering to your audience,’ but the world is a rich, diverse place, and we want our content to reflect that.”
Chapek boasted that Disney has “the greatest content creators” who see things “similarly” and claimed, “that’s good from a commercial standpoint as well, because then you appeal to the largest possible audience.”
“Certainly, you know, we live in a world now where everything seems to, you know, be polarized,” he said. “But I think we want Disney to stand for bringing people together.”
If that’s his intent, Chapek has had a funny way of showing it.
In allowing his employees to bully Disney into taking a stand on a Florida bill that prevented gender and sexual identities from being discussed in third-grade classrooms — the disingenuously nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay” bill” — the company alienated half the country.
And if his “consumer base” didn’t make their feelings on the matter clear, the company’s tanking stocks should have crystalized it for him.
Sheffield: Disney proves that going woke means going broke https://t.co/4Hij2Ot3QC
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 14, 2022
As American Wire reported, back in May, CNBC stated, “Shares of Disney have slumped 30% since January and more than 40% compared with the same time last year.”
And in June, after video from Disney+’s new children’s cartoon series, Baymax!” was leaked, the backlash was immediate and severe. In the short clip, a transgender man wearing a transgender flag shirt promoted the notion that men can menstruate.
One user on Twitter called the clip “beyond creepy.”
“It’s a parents job to time exposure to mature subjects based on their kids needs or maturity level,” the user wrote. “Disney is way out of their lane.”
My question is…Why does Disney feel they need to expose kids to these subjects when they are branded as kids entertainment? Beyond creepy, it's a parents job to time exposure to mature subjects based on their kids needs or maturity level. Disney is way out of their lane.
— ripvanwinkle253 (@ripvanwinkle253) June 29, 2022
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