Disney‘s CEO Bob Chapek is addressing the company’s stance on the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Florida.
The company’s Walt Disney World Resort is one of the biggest employers in the Sunshine State, and the executive just released a letter to staff Monday morning (March 7), where he doesn’t decry the controversial bill.
Click inside to see what he wrote…
“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,” Bob said in the letter, via THR.
“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,” he continued. “And because this struggle is much bigger than any one bill in any one state, I believe the best way for our company to bring about lasting change is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create, and the diverse community organizations we support.”
“There’s a reason content is at the top of this list. For nearly a century, our company’s stories have opened minds, inspired dreams, shown the world both as it is and how we wish it could be, and now more than ever before, represent the incredible diversity of our society. We are telling important stories, raising voices, and I believe, changing hearts and minds.”
Bob also notes that Disney has “provided nearly $3 million to support the work of LGBTQ+ organizations” in 2021, and “we have a long history of supporting important events like Pride parades, and for being there in times of need, just as we were following the Pulse shooting in Orlando. All this is why we have earned a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign for 16 years in a row.”
The CEO even addresses the blowback from the company’s donations to the politicians who are responsible for the bill.
“While we have not given money to any politician based on this issue, we have contributed to both Republican and Democrat legislators who have subsequently taken positions on both sides of the legislation,” Bob Chapek writes. “I can also share that Geoff Morrell, our new Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, will be reassessing our advocacy strategies around the world—including political giving—as he begins to integrate the communications, public policy, government relations and CSR teams.”
Read the full letter on THR here.
Many Disney fans and parkgoers have slammed Bob Chapek for his lack of denouncing the bill. If you didn’t know, Bob assumed the position of CEO in February 2020, following Bob Iger.
Iger however, has been outspoken about the bill, and has shared his opposition to it.
“I’m with the President on this! If passed, this bill will put vulnerable, young LGBTQ people in jeopardy,” he shared on Twitter, quoting a tweet from President Joe Biden.
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