To say that people have been less than thrilled with the Walt Disney Company lately would be an understatement. The Company has consistently been trending in the Disney fandom for all the wrong reasons. The Florida House of Representatives and State Senate have passed the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, and fans have not been happy with Disney’s response. They are placing a majority of their ire on CEO Bob Chapek, and their anger has renewed the focus on ousting the CEO.
Ever since Chapek took over as CEO in 2020, there has been a petition on Change.org to fire him. While everyone who signs the petition knows that it has no legal enforcement, they are signing to send a signal to Disney. The petition had been slow-moving but saw a massive uptick in signatures when Disney announced that it would be eliminating its free FastPass system and implementing a new paid-for system called Disney Genie+.
Signatures had slowed down again, but then Disney released a statement about the bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. After that, Bob Chapek sent a company-wide email about the bill. Well, fans thought the statement was no statement at all and thought that Chapek should have stood against it. Instead, he reiterated that storytelling is the most important thing that Disney does — a line he frequently uses. Now the signatures have increased, and the bill is nearing 108,000 signatures.
According to the online petition, Bob Chapek has been focused on making money since he became CEO. The petition says:
Bob Chapek became the Chairman of Parks and Resorts for Disney in 2015. He has consistently made decisions that decrease the quality of what is put into the parks, and also ones that favor using Intellectual properties instead of original attractions. He consistently put himself and money above the product, and quality of the company.
In early 2020 he became the CEO of the Walt Disney Company which was extremely concerning. Bob Chapek has made an excessive amount of budget cuts, even with the Covid-19 pandemic being considered. Budget cuts began before the pandemic began, and increased. He recently reinstated full executive salaries at Disney, and also has laid off over 28,000 employees throughout the company. And now he is moving the focus to Disney plus, the current big money maker, instead of keeping the parks at high quality.
This increase in signatures comes just before Disney holds its Annual Shareholders meeting on March 9. There has been a lot of speculation that shareholders may be trying to oust Chapek from his seat. Many took to social media to share that the meeting included shareholders voting on who to keep on the Board of Directors, and they would not be voting for Chapek.