Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Chapek on Monday sent a lengthy email to employees to address the concerns of LGBTQ+ staff over the company’s public silence on Florida’s harmful and homophobic “Don’t Say Gay Bill”
Chapek said he met on Friday with “a small group of Disney LGBTQ+ leaders” for a conversation in which employees expressed “disappointment” at the company’s lack of a public statement. Chapek described the meeting as “and at times deeply moving,” Chapek would not talk about taking a public stance on the Florida bill that harkens back to the era of Anita Bryant when homophobia and hate ran rampant in Florida and many parts of the country.
Chapex in Monday’s memo stated that Corporate statements “do very little to change outcomes or minds” and instead are “often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame ” and “Simply put, they can be counterproductive and undermine more effective ways to achieve change.” [WTF?]
Chapek also said he believes Disney is more effective at creating social change through its movies and TV shows, citing releases including “Black Panther,” “Encanto,” “Pose,” “Summer of Soul” and “Love, Victor.” “These and all of our diverse stories are our corporate statements — and they are more powerful than any tweet or lobbying effort,” Chapek wrote. “I firmly believe that our ability to tell such stories — and have them received with open eyes, ears, and hearts — would be diminished if our company were to become a political football in any debate.”
Disney who has always claimed to be an LGBTQ ally has weighed into political matters under prior CEO Bob Iger.
Iger would occasionally take a vocal stance on legislation in Georgia, where many Marvel Studios movies are filmed. In 2019, Iger told Reuters it would be “very difficult” to continue filming there if a restrictive anti-abortion bill became law. And Disney threatened to boycott Georgia over an anti-gay bill that sought to expand individuals’ and businesses’ rights to deny services to those whose way of life conflicts with their religious beliefs. That bill was vetoed by the governor.
The bill which passed the Florida House went to the Florida Senate on Monday where it was expected to be voted upon but was delayed for a vote.
So it seems some Disney Theme Park Gay Days and Rainbow Colored Mouse Ears is the extent of Disney’s ally ship under Bob Chapek.
Let’s return the favor.
Say NO to Gay Days. Say no to Disney’s Pride Merch (what a joke) and just say no to Disney.