Bob Chapek Shuts Down Question About Kathleen Kennedy Being Fired
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Disney CEO Bob Chapek Shuts Down Question About Kathleen Kennedy Being Fired

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BY March 10, 2021

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Shuts Down Question About Kathleen Kennedy Being Fired

This week Disney CEO Bob Chapek took questions from Disney shareholders, and the contentious nature of Star Wars fandom infiltrated a boring investor call. As we’ve discussed on this very website, outrage grifters mine toxic fandom for profit on YouTube, especially when it comes to Star Wars. Because these so-called Fandom Menace types are untethered to reality, there have been a series of “rumors” that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy would be fired for various reasons (but ultimately because she’s a woman and they hate that). So, when asked if Kathleen Kennedy would be fired in favor of Jon Favreau or Dave Filoni, Bob Chapek shut them down.

Interestingly, this question seems crafted after hours of watching ding-dongs on YouTube equating things the Fandom Menace crowd doesn’t like to Kennedy. Conversely, anything they like about Star Wars—from the final season of The Clone Wars to The Mandalorian—they credit to Filoni or Favreau. What these people willfully ignore, however, is that Kennedy has as much involvement in the stuff they like as the stuff they don’t.

The fact remains that Kennedy’s tenure at Lucasfilm has been nothing but a resounding success. Every Star Wars film produced since Disney bought Lucasfilm has been a success. The “worst” performer was Solo: A Star Wars Story, and even that grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. Just last year, Kennedy won a lifetime achievement award from BAFTA for her consistent track record of excellence. So that Bob Chapek is not interested in even entertaining the notion Kathleen Kennedy might be fired is not a surprise.

Bob Chapek States Kathleen Kennedy Won’t Be Fired, In Fact Just the Opposite

Kathleen Kennedy Image via Twitter

During the earnings call with shareholders, Disney executives spoke about navigating the company through a strange year in 2020. Most of the shareholders who got to ask questions were very complimentary both to Chapek and outgoing Chairman Bob Iger. Yet, two of the questioners were confrontational. A man named George from San Antonio, Texas was the one to ask about handing control of Lucasfilm over to co-creators of The Mandalorian Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.

Chapek said:

“We’ve been absolutely thrilled that we can have the kind of creative talent in our company the likes of Kathy Kennedy to run Lucasfilm. And we look forward to having Kathy directing the activities of the entire Lucasfilm organization for many years to come. Thank you for your question, next question please.”

Shortly before that question, a man named David from Alexandria, Virginia brought up Gian Carano, repeating the false accusation that she was fired from The Mandalorian because she is a “conservative.” As we’ve reported, Gina Carano was “fired” from Lucasfilm long before she posted a social media image comparing holding anti-science and insurrectionist views to being Jewish during the Holocaust. In fact, they likely chose to stop doing business with her after she refused to put out a statement apologizing for offending people by mocking gender-appropriate pronouns.

Boba Fett The Mandalorian Season 3 Featured Din Djaran Cara Dune Gina Carano Image via Lucasfilm

The questioner even suggested there is “a new blacklist punishing conservatives in the entertainment industry.” He cited Carano’s tweets and a tweet with an entirely different context from star Pedro Pascal. “Regarding Disney and a blacklist,” David said obviously going for a Big Moment™, “this is the way?”

Chapek replied:

“I don’t really see Disney as a characterizing itself as left-leaning or right-leaning. Yet instead standing for values…that are universal: values of respect, values of decency, values of integrity, and values of inclusion. And we seek to have not only how we operate but the content that we make reflective of the rich diversity of the world that we live in. And I think that’s a world that we all should live in, in harmony and peace.”

While this likely will do little to stop the outrage grift some Star Wars “content creators” use as business model, Chapek’s comments are still great. It’s nice to hear Kennedy get positive support from her superiors, especially since she rarely acknowledges the hateful and sexist pushback she gets from randos on the internet every time she gets mentioned.

Kevin Feige Star Wars Kathleen Kennedy Disney Lucasfilm BB-8 Adam Driver Mark Hamill Rian Johnson R2-D2 Image by Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

You can listen to the fill presentation on Disney’s website.

What do you think? Are you glad Bob Chapek shut down the question about Kathleen Kennedy getting fired? Share your thoughts in the comments below (but remember to be civil!).

Featured image via screengrab

Pop Culture

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Bob ChapekDisneyKathleen KennedyStar Wars

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