Disney CEO promises ‘increased commitment’ to more LGBTQ characters

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CULTURE Bob Chapek also shut down claims that LGBTQ characters were harming the corporation.

The new CEO of Disney, a company that built an empire on family screen entertainment and vacation destinations, has promised that the Magic Kingdom and its entertainment offerings will be pushing homosexuality and the gay lifestyle even harder than ever before under his leadership. 

Bob Chapek, who took over for Bob Iger earlier this year, said Disney will have an “increased commitment” to LGBTQ characters and “telling LGBTQ stories,” according to Gaytimes.

Caroline Farrow of CitizenGo, which campaigned for homosexuality to remain illegal in Kenya, pointed at a media event to a petition signed by 700,000 people that demanded Disney stop promoting “LGBT ideology in many of your products for children.”

She said: “At a time when your stock is down by 20 percent, 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.’?”

Chapek responded: “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.”

Acting as if Farrow had blamed Disney’s stock fall on its gay stance, Chapek then lectured: “Secondly, in terms of the stock price. I think there is a lot of reasons why the stock price might be down 20 percent 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.”

Disney is sneaking in more and more minor LGBTQ characters in major films aimed at children, like Onward, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

However, things are moving more quickly 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.

Onward has already been either censored or banned in several countries because of its queer reference, and Disney faced criticism after it pulled the Love, Simon spin-off series from its network over the themes of “alcohol use, marital issues and sexual exploration.”

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