Headline RoundupNovember 21st, 2022

Bob Iger Returns as Disney CEO, Replacing Bob Chapek

AllSides Summary

In a surprise move, the Walt Disney Company’s board of directors fired CEO Bob Chapek on Sunday and replaced him with former CEO Bob Iger. 

For Context: Disney’s board reportedly reached out to Iger on Friday, considered no alternatives, and did not inform Chapek about the decision until Sunday. Iger led the entertainment giant as CEO for 15 years before handing the reins to Chapek in early 2020. However, Chapek’s term encountered controversies that led Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to revoke Disney World’s special administrative district. Like many tech and entertainment companies, Disney faced a sinking stock price and disappointing revenues in late 2022, leading Chapek to plan cost-cutting measures like hiring freezes and layoffs. 

Social Issues in Focus: Chapek faced controversy over his reluctance to take a stand on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, sometimes referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. While Chapek eventually publicly opposed the bill, Iger opposed it earlier, tweeting in late February 2022: “I'm with the President on this! If passed, this bill will put vulnerable, young LGBTQ people in jeopardy.”

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was widespread across the spectrum, particularly in business outlets. Some outlets noted the announcement’s significance; The Guardian (Lean Left bias) highlighted a quote comparing it to Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in 1997. Some coverage from the right criticized Disney; The Daily Wire (Right bias) called the company a “value-hemorrhaging caricature of wokeness.

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