Disney CEO shuts down anti-LGBT activist who claims gay characters are costing his company millions
New Disney CEO Bob Chapek has dismissed an anti-LGBT activist’s claims that his company is losing money because it is “promoting LGBT ideology.”
During Chapek’s first annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, he was confronted by notorious British anti-LGBT activist Caroline Farrow – who suggested that the reason the company’s stock price has tumbled is the decision to include LGBT+ themes in properties like Star Wars and Avengers.
In the meeting, Farrow challenged Chapek over “the way you currently promote LGBT ideology in many of your products for children.”
She claimed that many families “no longer feel safe” because of LGBT+ Disney characters, adding: “At a time when your stock is down by 20 per cent, is it perhaps time to reconsider what you can do to make Disney more family friendly… 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?”
New Disney CEO refuses demand to remove ‘LGBT ideology’
Addressing her question, Chapek flatly rejected Farrow’s concerns.
The CEO said: “At Disney we strongly believe we should reflect in our creative content the diversity that we find in our fanbase and our audience.
“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.
“In terms of the stock price, there’s a lot of reasons why the stock price might be down 20 per cent that has nothing to do with the issue you raised – it might have more to do with coronavirus and the worldwide pandemic that we’re facing.”
The unequivocal response was applauded by the crowd.
Indeed, contrary to Farrow’s suggestions that the company is losing money because of gay characters, Disney’s stock remained relatively over the year until February – when, alongside pretty much every other major company, it plunged due to the economic hammering caused by coronavirus.
The company has started to include some minor LGBT+ characters in its TV shows and films over the past few years, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker featuring a minor same-sex kiss, while Pixar film Onward and Marvel film Avengers: Endgame both briefly allude to same-sex relationships.
Disney Channel shows have also explored LGBT+ themes for the first time – ending a decades-long informal ban on gay content.
While not responsible for the company’s financial problems, Disney’s toe-dipping has not been without some controversy.
Caroline Farrow has a long anti-LGBT history
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PinkNews has asked CitizenGo, which has worked to oppose the decriminalisation of gay sex in Kenya, to clarify if Caroline Farrow is actually a Disney shareholder.
Farrow, the activist responsible for the stunt, frequently appears in the British media as a pundit opposing LGBT+ rights reforms, having spoken against same-sex marriage, gay parenting, LGBT+ inclusive education, and transgender inclusivity.
However, she continues to voice extreme views about LGBT+ people.
Last year, the activist claimed that her children had read a book about a gay penguin and “cried and found it incredibly traumatic that the baby penguin didn’t have a mummy.”