Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared an internal memo with his employees saying ‘I let you down. I am sorry.’ after his people reached out to him over the company’s response regarding the ‘Don’t Say Gay bill.’
Enclosed on "Don't Say Gay Bill" or HB 1557 is "prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or a specified manner," which according to LGBTQ supporters an attack on their gender preference.
NBC News reported, Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith delivered his impassioned speech saying "We are in distress because this is yet another attack on our community," after Florida's House of Representatives passed the bill last February. The Christian Post reported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opposed the media and legislation's opponents saying it "false narratives." He explained the bill is "an act relating to parental rights in education."
Disney has donated to the sponsors of the 'Parental Rights in Education Bill' despite 'inclusion and equality' marketing according to the reports of WDWNT. The report pointed out that Disney wasn't the only entity that sponsored the said bill. It includes Florida Realtors and Publix, Anheuser-Busch, Duke Energy, and Comcast. Orlando State Rep. Anna Eskamani said in the report, "The business lobby seems more focused on securing tax breaks...than living up to their so-called corporate values of inclusivity."
In Disney CEO Chapek's statement, "We are hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values. And today, we are pausing all political donations in the state of Florida pending this review." The CEO reaffirmed in his statement that he's an ally to the LGBTQ community. "I will be an outspoken champion for the protection, visibility, and opportunity you deserve," he added.
Abigail Disney, a producer, and director as well as the grandniece of the namesake of the Walt Disney Company, replied to Chapek's statement in her Twitter, "Chapek is more worried about the right-wing backlash than about his loyal fans and employees."
"The times for neutrality are long since over," she said. She also expressed her dismay with leadership that took two sides. "There are no sidelines anymore. When one side is asking to wipe the other from the face of the earth, whether for reasons of sexuality, race or any other reason, looking for the sidelines is craven and morally bankrupt," she added.
Gov. DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted, "Disney contacted our office today to speak with the governor. This is the first time we have heard from Disney regarding HB 1577. The governor did take the call from Mr. Chapek. The governor's position has not changed. No in-person meeting has been scheduled yet."
Gov. DeSantis slammed Disney for having a "double standard regarding human rights." He said on a video attained by FoxNews, "In Florida, our policies got to be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations." The governor criticized, "When you have companies that have made a fortune off being family-friendly and catering to families and young kids...they should understand that parents of young kids do not want this injected into their kid's kindergarten classroom."
HB 1557 was approved by the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate, and still expects for Gov. DeSantis' signature.