Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he is 'extremely disappointed' with California Gov. Gavin Newsom's call to keep Disneyland closed as COVID-19 cases soar


Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he was "extremely disappointed" in the state of California's call to prohibit Disneyland from reopening despite the company's science-based safety protocols.

The comment was made during Disney's fourth-quarter earnings call with investors on Thursday. Following the firm's Q4 earnings release, Chapek and other executives discussed Disney's movie studio business, subscription growth, and a reorganization that is being carried out during the pandemic to bolster its streaming services. 

Read more: Meet the 5 Disney execs who gained power in its major reorg, including Kareem Daniel who will spearhead its ambitious streaming strategy

The call also touched on Disney's theme parks and resort operations, saying that even while running at the required reduced capacity, the company is still seeing a "willingness" from consumers to visit the sites. However, Chapek singled out California's recent decision to keep theme parks, including Disneyland, closed into 2021 as coronavirus cases soar in the state, as well as across the US.

"Unfortunately, we're extremely disappointed that the state of California continues to keep Disneyland closed," Chapek said on the earnings call. He also said he wishes state officials would trust Disney's science-based safety protocol that it has implemented at other parks in the country instead of standing by an "arbitrary standard."

Disney did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

California Public Health reported 991,609 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon. The state introduced new guidelines this week following a spike in coronavirus cases, and included in the restrictions were the closure of theme parks until cases fell below one per 100,000 people in the county where they are located, according to CNBC. Disney has two large theme parks in Anaheim, outside Los Angeles.

Disney said in early August that it had missed out on $3.5 billion in operating income during Q3 due to shuttered theme parks around the world. The pandemic as a whole has slammed its theme park operations, and in early August, the company said it was laying off 28,000 workers from its parks, experiences, and products business.