Disney CEO Bob Chapek completely removed any confusion as to where he stood on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which bans the teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children between kindergarten through third grade.”
In a recent company-wide email obtained by Variety, Chapek declared that he’s fully on board with the LGBTQ+ agenda and that he promises to be an outspoken champion for their movement.
The email begins, “To my fellow colleagues, but especially our LGBTQ+ community, Thank you to all who have reached out to me sharing your pain, frustration and sadness over the company’s response to the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was.”
“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry,” he apologized.
Chapek continued, “Our employees see the power of this great company as an opportunity to do good. I agree. Yes, we need to use our influence to promote that good by telling inclusive stories, but also by standing up for the rights of all.”
“Starting immediately, we are increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states,” he declared. “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.”
“But, I know there is so much more work to be done. I am committed to this work and to you all, and will continue to engage with the LGBTQ+ community so that I can become a better ally. You will hear more about our progress in the coming weeks,” he stated.
Chapek then asserted, “I truly believe we are an infinitely better and stronger company because of our LGBTQ+ community.”
“I missed the mark in this case but am an ally you can count on—and I will be an outspoken champion for the protections, visibility, and opportunity you deserve,” he concluded.
This new email comes after a statement from LGBTQIA+ Pixar employees was made public that slammed Disney for being a poor LGBTQIA+ community.
The Pixar employees accused Disney of removing gay content from their film’s primarily aimed at children writing, “Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is a protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.”
They also called Chapek and Disney leadership hypocrites given the company’s recent statements regarding the invasion of Ukraine and its past decision to oppose a pro-life bill in Georgia back in 2016.
Chapek’s mask off moment also comes following comments Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made while speaking to supporters in Boca Raton.
A video obtained by Fox News shows DeSantis declaring, “In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten.”
He continued, “First graders shouldn’t have woke gender ideology imposed in their curriculums. And that is what we are standing for because we’re standing for the kids and we’re standing for the parents.”
“And I can tell you this. The chance that I am going to back down from my commitment to students and back down from my commitment to parents rights simply because of fraudulent media narratives or pressure from woke corporations. The chances of that are zero,” he declared.
“And when you have companies that have made a fortune off being family 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,” DeSantis said. “They do not want their first graders to go and be told that they can choose an opposite gender. That is not appropriate for those kids. So if you’re family friendly, understand the parents who are actually raising families want to have their rights respected.”
“And I also think that you have companies like a Disney that are going to say and criticize parents rights,” DeSantis continued. “They’re going to criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten and first grade classrooms.”
“If that’s the hill they’re going to die on, then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China? Because that’s what they do,” he asserted. “And they make a fortune, and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP.”
“And so in Florida, our policy’s going to be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations,” the clip concludes.
In a video exclusively obtained by @FoxNews Digital. @GovRonDeSantis slams #Disney saying “In Florida, our policies got to be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations.” pic.twitter.com/Op87xgsLzB
— Kelly Laco (@kelly_laco) March 10, 2022
Disney CEO Bob Chapek admitted at Disney’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders that he had been actively opposing the bill through back channels despite previously sending out an email to his employees claiming the company would not be taking a stance on the bill.
Just before the Q&A portion of the Shareholders’ meeting, Chapek said, “While we’ve been strong supporters of the community for decades I know many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill. Now, we were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind the scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”
“And we were hopeful that our long-standing relationships with those lawmakers would enable us to achieve a better outcome, but despite weeks of effort we were ultimately unsuccessful,” he admitted.
Chapek then detailed, “I called Governor DeSantis this morning to express our disappointment and concern that if legislation becomes law it could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary, and transgender kids and families.”
“The Governor heard our concerns and agreed to meet with me and LGBTQ+ members of our senior team in Florida to discuss ways to address them,” he added.
In a previous email sent to Disney employees, Chapek explained why the company did not take a stance on the bill, “As we have seen time and again, corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds,”
“Instead, they are often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame. Simply put, they can be counterproductive and undermine more effective ways to achieve change,” he explained.
Chapek then asserted, “I do not want anyone to mistake a lack of a statement for a lack of support. We all share the same goal of a more tolerant, respectful world. Where we may differ is in the tactics to get there.”
The bill was passed in the Florida Legislature on Tuesday, and it currently awaits DeSantis’ signature.