Disney is closing Disneyland, its California theme park, through the end of the month due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
Variety reports: It’s only the fourth time in history that Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., has fully suspended operations. The other instances were the Sept. 11 attacks, the morning after JFK’s assassination and the Northridge earthquake. It’s unclear if Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., will remain open. … Disney was slow to close doors to its theme parks, despite cancellations of major entertainment industry events like South by Southwest and Coachella. The NBA suspended its season Wednesday night after a player tested positive for coronavirus. But the theme park closure seemed inevitable after California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday called for gatherings with more than 250 people to be canceled or delayed in an effort to halt the transmission of the virus. Officials have also been encouraging “social distancing” of six feet per person.
In related news, the new CEO of Disney shut down an anti-LGBTQ activist this week who claimed the company is losing money because its products “promote LGBT ideology.”
NBC News reports: During a shareholding meeting Wednesday, Caroline Farrow, an anti-LGBTQ activist, asked Disney CEO Bob Chapek if it was “perhaps time to see what you can do to make Disney more family friendly” and “safe for people around the world, not just one minority” given that the company’s stock price has recently plummeted. … Chapek, who replaced Bob Iger as CEO of Disney last month, dismissed Fallow’s objections in his response, stating that Disney believes in reflecting the diversity of its fanbase in its creative content. He added that producing inclusive projects will only become an increased priority for the company in the future. “We believe we want to tell stories that our audience wants to hear that reflects their lives,” Chapek said. As for why Disney’s stock has recently decreased, Chapek attributed it to the coronavirus, which has caused global markets to drop, not LGBTQ content. “In terms of the stock price, there’s a lot of reasons why the stock price might be down … that has nothing to do with the issue you raised,” Chapek said. “It might have more to do with coronavirus and the worldwide pandemic that we’re facing.”