Earlier we reported that Disney CEO Bob Chapek had been quietly removed from the Destination D23 lineup for the event taking place this weekend. Originally, Chapek had been listed on the schedule alongside Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro to offer welcome remarks to kick off the event, however fans noticed that the CEO was later removed from Destination D23’s official schedule.
While some fans speculated that Chapek himself opted not to attend for fear that fans would boo him (there was a petition circulating online created by fans that calls for his removal as CEO), Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler shared the following statement with our affiliate site Disney Dining on the topic:
“Bob has a conflict in LA on Friday night and couldn’t make it back to Orlando on time. Mr. Chapek will be making a statement tomorrow, November 18, about his need to pull out of the D23 event.”
Today, we are back with a new statement on his cancelled appearance from the Destination D23 lineup direct from Disney CEO Bob Chapek:
“I’m sorry, I had every intention of trying to make it this year, as you know I’ve made the last several. I really love that event. Unfortunately, this year given the new job and given the tugs I get from several different areas it’s impossible for me to make it but I will be there in spirit.”
Of course, fans are still speculating if a scheduling conflict truly was the reason behind his upcoming absence, but with his official statement now confirming that he will not be appearing this weekend it seems this is the best we can do with the information Disney has shared.
Josh D’Amaro will still be in attendance and will still be offering his previously scheduled welcome remarks at the start of Destination D23, which runs November 19-21, 2021.