Bob Chapek: California’s COVID Rules Arbitrary
Disney CEO Bob Chapek disappointed with the State of California…
Firstly, for decades, a day at Disneyland has been a rite of passage for residents of California.
Secondly, and despite the uber theme park’s special status in the state, there is no love lost between the state’s government and The Walt Disney Company at the moment.
Thanks to very strict guidelines governing the reopening of the state’s theme parks, Disneyland remains closed.
Disney’s Chapek vs. California’s Newsom
Today, during Disney’s earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek exclaimed:
We are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disney closed despite our proven track record!”
USAToday.com’s Curtis Tate reported:
Walt Disney Co. executives slammed California officials on Thursday for not allowing Disneyland to reopen, perhaps for months, as the company reported a nearly $600 million loss for its fourth quarter.
In an investor presentation Thursday, Christine McCarthy, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Disneyland would not reopen before year’s end because of California’s stringent coronavirus pandemic guidelines.
Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, called California’s guidelines “arbitrary” and noted that the company has been able to safely reopen its other theme parks, including Disney World in Florida.
A Long Struggle
Chapek has used the word arbitrary before:
Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Company and California remains in a war of words with California; Governor Gavin Newsom’s regulaions regarding theme parks will keep many of them shuttered indefinitely.
Deadline’s Jill Goldsmith added:
The California opening is based around state guidelines on infection rates and rolling averages that tag counties by color[; making] it easier for smaller parks versus larger ones like Disneyland to open sooner. Disney and other operators have called the guidelines arbitrary. Chairman Bob Iger quit a Newsom-led state economic recovery task force on the delays.
The Walt Disney Company lost $1.7 billion for their fiscal year.
To wit, Chapek said, “It’s been a year unlike any other in our lifetimes, and certainly in the history of the Walt Disney Co.”
Finally, there are 28,000 people nodding their heads rather emphatically right now.