Woke Disney CEO Speaks On Company’s Opposition to Parental Rights in Education Bill
Disney faced controversy this year when they made a foray into Florida politics by vocally opposing the Parental Rights in Education bill, what its opponents have dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Disney has vowed to help repeal the bill and has stopped all political contributions in Florida.
As a result, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis led an effort to remove Disney’s self-government powers in Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, where its Epcot theme park is located.
Due to its status as one of Florida’s largest employers, Disney came under immense pressure from entertainers and the media to oppose the bill.
Disney is one of Florida largest employers – please step up and fight the Dont Say Gay Bill & The Woke Bill. One will harm queer students the other will prevent Black, Indigenous, AAIPI, Muslim history from being taught or spoken about
— Marti (@MartiGCummings) February 25, 2022
Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke about his decision to oppose the bill, and his delayed reaction to its introduction.
What we try to do is be everything to everybody,’ Chapek said, ‘That tends to be very difficult because we’re The Walt Disney Company.’
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Explaining the company’s decision to oppose the Parental Rights in Education bill, Chapek said that he wants the company to ‘represent a brighter tomorrow’ for families of all types.
‘We certainly don’t want to get caught up in any political subterfuge, but at the same time we also realize that we want to represent a brighter tomorrow for families of all types, regardless of how they define themselves,’ he said.
He also recognized that the views of Disney employees who pushed him to oppose the bill may not align with the general public.
‘These are complex social issues where we absolutely, positively want to represent the needs and the expectations of our cast members,’ he said, ‘But we also realize that sometimes in such a divided world, there’s not alignment between what possibly large constituencies of our guest and consumer base are looking for.’
Disney employees have expressed frustration with Chapek despite his decision to oppose the bill, saying he hasn’t done enough for LGBT staff.
As an LGBTQ+ Disney employee who loves the company & the people he works with I can say with much certainty that the LGBTQ+ employees of Disney do not feel this way about Bob Chapek’s actions during “Don’t Say Gay” in any way. Employees were being smeared & the company was silent pic.twitter.com/lRt3A1zyGW
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) September 11, 2022
Chapek defended his company’s relationship with his employees, saying that the company was a ‘happy family’. He also indirectly referenced conservatives who supported the Parental Rights in Education bill, saying that he was attacked by people from certain ‘political constituencies’.
‘We are a very cohesive, big, happy family. I think our staff saw how I stood firm during the ultimate barrage of attacks from certain political constituencies.’
Chapek was booed at Disney’s D23 Expo this week as he attempted to rebrand himself and move Disney away from the politicized image it has given off in the last year.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek booed at #D23Expo pic.twitter.com/8HGIkpipiR
— TM (@tmmylps) September 9, 2022
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