Disney Boss Bob Chapek Denies Company Is "Too Woke"

For years, the movies, television shows, and more under the Disney umbrella have always managed to make headlines. That has especially been true with regards to the company's efforts towards positive onscreen and offscreen representation, as there have been some definite turning points under the tenure of CEO Bob Chapek. These have included the same-sex kiss that was edited back into Lightyear earlier this summer, and casting Black actress Halle Bailey as the titular character of their live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. During a recent appearance at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference, Chapek addressed concerns that the company is becoming "too woke", and promised a continued effort towards diversity and inclusion.

"I think the more complex something is, the more you really have to drill down into the basics," Chapek explained. "And we want our content to reflect the rich, diverse world that we live in. And, again, 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. And we're so blessed to have the greatest content creators and they see it similarly."

"I always say, when someone walks down Main Street and look at the castle, you're not thinking 'I'm on one side of the political spectrum or the other,'" Chapek added. "You have a shared belief in all the wonderful aspects of what Disney is. I want to use Disney to bring people together, and I think we'll do that by diverse stories and diverse characters."

What was Disney's response to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill?

Earlier this year, Disney garnered some negative attention for their response to Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" legislation, also known as Bill HB 1557. The legislation prevented schools from teaching or discussing subjects like sex without parental awareness and/or permission, which many saw as a way to stop the ongoing fight to normalize the LGBTQ+ experience. In March of this year, Disney released a statement denouncing the bill and Florida's decision to pass it.

"Florida's HB 1557, also known as the 'Don't Say Gay' bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law," the statement from Disney read at the time. "Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country."

What do you think of Bob Chapek's comments about Disney getting too "woke"? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!