Bob Chapek has not had an easy time since he became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in February 2020. He succeeded popular CEO Bob Iger and has made a number of decisions that have not sat well with Disney fans. One of the bigger issues he has had is the fight that he got into with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The fight angered both sides — with one side thinking Chapek took too long to act, and the other side thinking Disney and Chapek shouldn’t have said anything.
As of late, Disney has been featuring a much more diverse cast of characters in its films and television shows. In fact, in 2020, Disney featured its first openly gay character, Specter, in the movie Onward. There was a trans character shown in the new Disney+ series, Baymax!, and Disney also decided to change up the classic tale of The Little Mermaid by casting Halle Bailey — who is black — in the titular role.
Disney has said that they will continue to add even more diverse characters to their projects — which has led to a lot of people calling the company “woke”.
Chapek attended the Wall Street Journal Tech Live Conference and was asked about accusations that the company is too “woke”. The Disney CEO said:
“We want our content to reflect the rich, diverse world we live in. We live in a world now, where everything seems to be polarized, but I think we want Disney to stand for bringing people together. I think 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.”
During that same conference, Chapek was also asked about things like the reservation system and Disney’s high prices — another thing they are constantly called out for. Chapek said that the reservation system ensures that each and every Guest has a magical Disney Park experience because Disney can control the number of people that are in the theme parks on any given day.