It has been a rough month or so for Bob Chapek, who is the CEO of Disney. On top of having to deal with massive employee walkouts and plenty of protesting because of the political debacle in Florida, the man has come under fire once again. Not for anything that is going to cause a huge uproar like before, but then again, you can’t count on Disney fanatics not to get upset by Chapek’s recent comments.
The man took a trip to his former alma mater, the University of Indiana, to give a commencement speech to the graduating class. However, in his speech, he said something that might seem unforgivable. Bob Chapek was giving his speech when he meant to comment on Disney World and likely throw a bit of reassurance to the drama surrounding Florida and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that had been passed. However, when referring to Disney World he said, “The Happiest Place on Earth.” That is certainly going to irk a lot of fans as that is the motto for Disneyland, which exists in California, and not Disney World which is referred to as, “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” Come on now Bob, you can’t mix up the mottos of the company that you run.
Also, Bob Chapek seemed to compare himself to Iron Man. While Tony Stark is one of the most beloved Disney characters now, he is also seen as a ruthless businessman too. Comparing yourself to a billionaire that has profited from war might not have been the route to take on this one, especially considering the consensus is that he does not care about the thousands of employees that work for Disney. Going back to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that had been passed, it all but ensured plenty of workers that they would be censored no matter what they did. Pixar employees staged huge walkouts in both California and Florida, as they stated that Disney had long told them to censor any kind of content in animation films that weren’t heterosexual in nature.
Disney has been coming under fire as of late. Bob Chapek has been heavily criticized for his lack of involvement when the “Don’t Say Gay” bill had been passed. Workers claimed that more should have been done by Chapek, considering Disney is meant to be all about inclusion and love. However, things have been awkward since Chapek took over and former CEO Bob Iger retired.
Mixing up the mottos for Disneyland and Disney World might not seem at all important, but in the grand scheme of things, fans and workers could see this as another instance of Bob Chapek just not caring about the brand. Disney fans have turned the company into arguably the most massive in the world, and should things begin to crumble, Chapek might be the first one blamed. Also, referring to yourself as a world-saving superhero might not be the best route to go either. That seems to be a bit egotistical as well. Hopefully, things sort themselves out at The House of Mouse.