FACT CHECK: Did Disney’s CEO Say ‘Going Woke’ Was A ‘Huge Mistake’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a news article claiming that Disney’s CEO admitted “going woke” was a “huge mistake.”

Verdict: False

The article stems from a satirical website. There is no evidence suggesting that Disney’s CEO has stated he regrets the direction the company has moved in.

Fact Check:

Disney has faced criticism and protests in response to its opposition to a Florida bill that banned classroom instruction on sexual orientation from kindergarten to third grade, according to Fox35 Orlando. Now, an image shared on Facebook claims the company is paying financially for its decision.

The image shows a screen grab of an article with a headline that reads, “After Devastating Losses, Disney CEO Admits Company Made ‘A Huge Mistake’ Going Woke.” The article goes on to quote the company’s alleged CEO, Joe Barren, as saying, “People say they want this stuff then we do it and the park loses half its guests in a single afternoon.”

The article is not factual. The CEO of Disney is named Bob Chapek, not “Joe Barren.” There is no one by that name listed on the company’s leadership webpage. There are also no credible news reports crediting Chapek with the supposed quotes. (RELATED: Were 108 Disney World Employees Arrested For Child Sex Trafficking?)

The company did apologize for its “silence” on the Florida bill in March 2022, according to CNN. Chapek initially declined to issue a statement, citing the potential weaponization of it to “further divide and inflame” the country, the outlet reported.

An internet search reveals the article visible in the Facebook image was published by the website USA Taters. The website’s “about us” page indicates the outlet is part of “America’s Last Line of Defense,” which it describes as a “network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery.”

This is not the first time Disney has been the subject of viral misinformation. Last year, Check Your Fact debunked a viral Facebook post that claimed Chapek was in jail “for abusing 2 little girls.”

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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