After facing backlash, Chapek changed his tune two days later, claiming that Disney was opposed to the bill from the start but felt they could be more effective working behind the scenes.
Digital Desk: Disney CEO has apologized to employees for his earlier silence on Florida’s contentious “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as the company has suspended all political donations in the state.CEO Bob Chapek apologized in a letter to staff on Friday for his decision not to speak out against the bill, prohibiting schools from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with younger students until it had already been passed.“Talking 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 a Florida bill issue but rather another challenge to basic human rights. You expected me to be a more powerful ally in the fight for equal rights, and I let you down. I apologize.” Chapek said, according to Variety. “Chapek announced that Disney would create a “new framework for its political giving” and that it would pause all political donations in Florida pending a review. He previously stated that the company had made contributions to Republicans and Democrats who have taken positions on both sides of the legislation.Earlier this week, Chapek defended his company’s decision not to speak out against the bill, claiming that corporate statements do very little and that the best way for Disney to help bring about lasting change is through the inspiring content they produce. After facing backlash, Chapek changed his tune two days later, claiming that Disney was opposed to the bill from the start but felt they could be more effective working behind the scenes.“Disney should use its influence by standing up for all rights, rather than just telling inclusive stories. Disney will also increase its support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states,” he wrote on Friday.Chapek had previously stated that he intended to meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has called Disney a “woke” corporation.