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Chapek Changes Disney’s Tune After Facing More Negative Feedback

The current CEO of the Walt Disney Company, CEO Bob Chapek, has faced a shocking level of negativity from fans of Disney Parks, locations like Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort, and fans of products like the streaming service Disney+. Petitions to replace the Disney CEO Bob Chapek — with the Disney heiress Abigail Disney or the former Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger, for example — have been adorned with thousands of signatures.

Chapek was even booed at the D23 Expo in Anaheim California earlier this year — and apparently, the Disney CEO is not immune to these negative responses from Disney’s consumers. CEO Bob Chapek has spoken about the Walt Disney Company and its plans for the future many times in recent months, particularly in the midst of tough crowds with tough questions, but now he has just spoken up with a more unexpected statement that might surprise Disney Guests!

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger and new Disney CEO Bob Chapek

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger and new Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Iger tends to be thought of more positively than Chapek, who has faced a large amount of opposition from Disney fans. Photo Credit: Disney.

In a recent conversation during the Wall Street Journal Live Tech Conference,  Chapek told the Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Matt Murray that he was beginning to embrace “more elasticity” when it came to Disney+ content — and that the opinions of the “audience” were probably worth paying more attention to.

“I want to respect legacy, I want to respect what this brand is, but at the same time, I know that we may be even more precious about what’s Disney than the consumer base is,” Chapek explained. “and if the consumer base has more elasticity then we’ve traditionally had in terms of defining what’s Disney, then we probably ought listen to our audience.”

bob chapek mickey mouse

Bob Chapek with Mickey Mouse/Disney

Observant Disney enthusiasts already know that wording is particularly crucial when it comes to official statements from Disney or interview answers given by members of Disney leadership like CEO Bob Chapek. For example, during a recent quarterly earnings call, Walt Disney Company CFO Christine McCarthy used some terminology that suggested layoffs might be imminent — and soon after that, a hiring freeze has reportedly been put in place for the Walt Disney Company.

Christine McCarthy

Walt Disney Company CFO Christine McCarthy Credit: Disney

Therefore, even just the slightest hint that Chapek is thinking about listening to the “audience” might be significant!

Do you think that CEO Bob Chapek is planning to turn things around and take Disney fans’ input into serious consideration in the future, judging by his statement? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!