Recap: The Walt Disney Company 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders

Today, The Walt Disney Company held its 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Lots of interesting tidbits, including some new trailers and teases were revealed during the meeting, so let’s recap what happened.

Live-Action Pinocchio

  • During the meeting, a first look image of Disney’s upcoming all-new live action Pinocchio was revealed, which will premiere exclusively on Disney+ this September.
  • Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live action retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy.
  • Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto, the wood-carver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his own son.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Trailer

Premier Pass

  • Disney CEO Bob Chapek was asked a question about the former Premier Pass, which provided access to both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.
  • The pass was actually the result of a previous question (asked by the same shareholder who asked today), but was retired during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Chapek said he will check on bringing back the pass.

Mary Poppins and Avengers Quinjet Attractions in “Holding Pattern”

  • Chapek was asked a question about the company's relative quietness over new theme park projects recently.
  • The CEO noted that they had to be careful with cash flow heavy projects due to the pandemic.
  • This included the announced and subsequently shelved Mary Poppins attraction at EPCOT and the flagship Avengers Quinjet attraction for Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure.
  • Chapek mentioned that he was really excited about the Mary Poppins project, but that both additions we in a “holding pattern”

“Don’t Say Gay” Bill

  • One of the most controversial items surrounding Disney recently was their response, or lack thereof, to the State of Florida’s recently passed “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
  • However, the CEO had a lot more to say about the matter at the annual meeting of Shareholders this morning, explaining that Disney initially attempted to put pressure on legislators behind the scenes.
  • With those efforts seemingly failing, Chapek stated that he has been in conversation with Governor Ron DeSantis to express his concerns about the law.
  • Additionally, Chapek said he will be meeting with Governor DeSantis alongside LGBTQ+ cast members.
  • Check out our full post for more information on what Chapek had to say on the matter.
  • For his part, though, Governor DeSantis’ office released a statement clarifying that no date for a meeting has been set and the Governor’s position on the bill has not changed.

Encanto: Disney’s Newest Franchise

  • A montage was shared focusing on the impact of Disney’s most recent animated feature, Encanto.
  • Interestingly, Chapek referred to Encanto as Disney’s newest franchise, implying there may be more to come from the Family Madrigal.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

All Board Members Reelected

  • All members of the board were all reelected with at least 94% of the vote, including Chapek.
  • This was despite grass roots efforts for investors to vote against him.

Shareholder Proposal on Pay Equity Disclosure Passed

  • One of the proposals at this year's meeting requested a report on both median and adjusted pay gaps across race and gender.
  • A shareholder stated that managing pay equity is a business imperative.
  • According to Disney's Board their quarrel with the proposal is not its focus – as the Company is fully committed to achieving pay equity – but whether it is a necessary and effective use of Company resources given the policies, practices and reporting that the Company already has in place to achieve that end. Given the many ongoing initiatives that the Company is already pursuing to promote opportunity and equity, the Board believes it is not.
  • However, it did indeed pass with 59% of the vote, which will provide greater transparency on pay data across race and gender.