Bob Chapek also shut down claims that LGBTQ characters were harming the corporation.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has promised that the company will have an “increased commitment” to LGBTQ characters and telling LGBTQ stories. He made the comments after being asked a question by an anti-LGBTQ activist.
Caroline Farrow, from CitizenGo, which campaigned for homosexuality to remain illegal in Kenya, pointed to a petition signed by 700,000 people calling on Disney to stop promoting “LGBT ideology in many of your products for children.”
She added: “At a time when your stock is down by 20%, is it perhaps time to reconsider what you can do to make Disney more family friendly? To make it safe for people around the world, not just one particular minority?
“And also what would you say to those 700,000 people who signed our petition saying, ‘Please let’s not have the gay prides in the Disneyland parks.’?”
Bob Chapek shut down Farrow by responding with: “Well, thank you for your question.
“At Disney we strongly believe we should reflect in our creative content the diversity that we find in our fanbase and our audience. And I believe that will continue with an increased commitment as we move forward.
“We want to represent our audience. We believe we want to tell stories that our audience wants to hear that reflects their lives.”
He then pointed to more realistic options about Disney’s stock falling, saying: “Secondly, in terms of the stock price. I think there is a lot of reasons why the stock price might be down 20% and it has nothing to do with the issue that you have raised.
“It might have more to do with coronavirus and the worldwide pandemic that we are facing.”
Chapek’s response was met with thunderous applause from others gathered.
However, things are moving quicker elsewhere, with upcoming superhero film The Eternals confirmed to have major gay characters, and Disney TV+ services featuring LGBTQ characters in High School Musical and the upcoming Loki series.
However, this isn’t without controversy. Onward has been either censored or banned in several countries because of its small reference, meanwhile Disney faced criticism after it pulled the Love, Simon spin-off series from its network over “adult themes.”
The themes were named as “alcohol use, marital issues and sexual exploration.”