Of all the words used to describe the current state of The Walt Disney Company, “Woke” is one of the most common. The phrase “Go Woke Go Broke” echoes through the comments of our articles and across the rest of the internet as Disney’s attempts to push its agendas for “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” continue to come under fire and receive subpar financial results.
During an interview for The Wall Street Journal’s 2022 WSJ Tech Live event, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek addressed these comments and held fast to the belief that the company is going to have to continue changing the way it tells stories as it enters its next 100 years.
Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray addressed the tumultuous atmosphere when it comes to the way Disney has been telling its stories, specifically mentioning that Lightyear was banned in the Middle East, there was outrage over the new ending of the Pinocchio remake, and the general outspoken sentiment that Disney has become “too woke.”
“I think the more complex something is, the more you have to really drill down into the basics, and we want our content to reflect the rich, diverse world that we live in. 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. But, I think that’s good from a commercial standpoint as well because then you appeal to the largest possible audiences. And, certainly, we live in a world now where everything seems, you know, to be polarized, but I think we want Disney to stand for bringing people together. 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.’ You have a shared belief in all the wonderful aspects of what Disney is and we want to use Disney to bring people together, and I think we’ll do that by [sharing] diverse stories and diverse characters.”
Murray asked Chapek what he feels is his role as CEO when it comes to Disney storytelling, to which Chapek said:
“We talk about shaping our content a lot, and some of the push/pull of all these different forces. But in the end we have to follow our North Star, which again is storytelling and catering to the audiences that are–that actually love Disney, and all audiences that love Disney.”
“So, to be clear,” Murray continued, “you don’t think Disney’s ‘too woke’?”
Disney’s CEO did not come out with an overt “yes” or “no,” but instead said, “I think Disney is a company that has survived for a hundred years by catering to its audience, and it’s going to thrive the next one hundred years by catering to its audience.”
You can watch a video of Chapek’s full interview below:
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney-related news and stories as more developments come to light.