Yesterday, Disney CEO Bob Iger called a town hall meeting to address the concerns of his staff and Cast Members. While this was a private event, several bits of information leaked out shortly after the meeting’s conclusion, and a variety of issues were addressed. As to be expected from any meeting of this nature, some subjects were handled better than others.
Iger has a lot on his plate concerning the future of the company. Thanks to Bob Chapek’s disconnection from both the company’s core values and its massive audience has led to a litany of problems, including gouging up prices, altering core Park experience, and the infamous conflict with Governor DeSantis and the Don’t Say Gay bill. In Iger’s defense, none of the problems currently facing the company can be fixed overnight, but some of his thoughts on the matters at hand are enough to have some fans raising their eyebrows.
When asked about the inclusion initiatives Disney would be taking, Iger responded to the matter by saying,
“One of the core values of our storytelling is inclusion, and acceptance and tolerance. And we can’t lose that, we just can’t lose that… how we actually change the world through the good must continue. We’re not going to make everyone happy all the time, and we’re not [going to] try to. We’re certainly not going to lessen our core values in order to make everyone happy all the time.”
Although Disney has been trying to be more inclusive of cultures and identities in recent years, it’s the latter part of that statement that fans and consumers should pay close attention too. No one truly knows the inner machinations of the mind of Bob Iger, but there are certainly different angles represented by the quote. Iger could be deflecting the matter, so as to safely avoid any unnecessary controversy surrounding sensitive subjects. However, he also might be offering a subtly forward response regarding Disney and its stance.
Recent events such as the opinions surrounding Disney’s Strange World and its poor reception make the latter half of the statement all the more relevant. The question is whether or not this is the type of representation the company will be pursuing in the times to come. On one hand, Iger might be going forward with more LGBTQ+ centered material to boost its reputation for acceptance and tolerance. On the other, this could mean Iger is pulling back on such subjects to avoid further controversy and backlash seen with Strange World’s shortcomings.
No matter what direction Iger decides to pull, he’s openly admitted to not being able to please all audiences. That might sound like a death sentence to some, but it comes off as refreshingly honest at the same time. Needless to say, this is a development all Disney fans will have to keep an eye on.
Do you think Iger will pull through for the company? Tell us in the comments below!