LOS ANGELES –
Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Chapek, asked to address criticism that the company has become “too sober,” said Wednesday that its show will serve audiences and respond to criticism. reflect the “rich and diverse” world of the viewer.
“The world is a rich, diverse place, and we want our content to reflect that,” Chapek said at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference.
Disney’s clash with Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this spring over the state’s Parental Rights in Education measure, which critics call the “no gay” bill, making it a political lightning rod and leading to the state’s revocation of the company’s special status that had allowed it to essentially manage the 25,000-acre (10,120 ha) Walt Disney World complex on its own.
The company’s initial reluctance to enter the political debate has also drawn criticism from Disney employees themselves, who have expressed frustration with Chapek’s handling of the matter.
When asked what he has learned from the TV series, Chapek said it strengthens his understanding that Disney’s cast has always been at the heart of everything the company does.
“We were reminded, through the passion in the cast’s reactions, how important their sentiments were on these issues when it came to making them feel that they were part of the cast,” Chapek said. Walt Disney Company.
When pressed about being the focus of personal attacks, Chapek said he denied it.
“My personal feelings don’t really matter,” Chapek said. “What matters is how people think about our company.”
Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Dawn Chmielewski; Edited by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis