NEWS: CEO Bob Chapek Issues Apology Following Disney’s Response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

The past few weeks, The Walt Disney Company has been dealing with a lot of controversy surrounding Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Walt Disney Company Logo ©Disney

The proposed bill would prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” with students in kindergarten through third grade. Since the bill was first introduced in Florida, Disney has faced some public outcry — first when it was discovered that the company had donated to politicians who supported the bill, and second when they declined to make a statement about the bill. CEO Bob Chapek later released a memo explaining the decision to Cast Members, but now he has issued a follow-up to that initial letter.

In his first memo, Bob Chapek explained why The Walt Disney Company hadn’t spoken publicly about the bill. However, his explanation was met with more controversy, and LGBTQ+ employees of Pixar and their allies even released a statement in regards to his memo, accusing Disney of “capitalizing on Pride” through the release of rainbow merchandise and forcing Pixar to remove “overtly gay moments of affection” from their films before release.

Rainbow Mickey Ornament

Today, Bob Chapek has released a second memo to Cast Members, and that memo was shared publicly by The Walt Disney Company. In the new letter, Chapek addressed the LGBTQ+ community about the bill and said “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”


He goes on to note that the company needs to “stand up for the rights of all” and that they are planning to make some changes. He says, “Starting immediately, we are increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states. 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.”


Chapek ends the letter by saying “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.”

We’ll make sure to keep you updated as this story progresses, so stay tuned to DFB for more information on this and other Disney news.

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The post NEWS: CEO Bob Chapek Issues Apology Following Disney’s Response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill first appeared on the disney food blog.