John Oliver calls Disney’s political donations ‘actively insulting’
John Oliver has slammed Disney CEO Bob Chapek for his response to Florida’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, calling it “actively insulting”.
The comedian kicked off Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” show by remarking that it’s been a “dark few weeks for the LGBTQ community,” then explained the intricacies of Florida’s bill, concluding that in his opinion , “it’s not about sex at all – it’s about denying the existence of homosexuals.
The Florida bill would ban teachers from discussing topics such as sexual orientation or gender identity with students until after third grade.
For the past two weeks, Disney’s Chapek has been reluctant to weigh in, first remaining silent on the bill, and later – when it emerged that Disney had already made political donations to lawmakers supporting the bill. — revealing that Disney had been actively fighting the bill behind the scenes.
At a shareholders’ meeting last week, Chapek explained, “When we give money to different political candidates, we have no idea how they’re going to vote in the future.”
“It’s such bull-t’s,” Oliver said on his show Sunday. “It’s actively insulting because that’s just not how the donation works. When you give money, you usually know what the recipient is going to do with it. That’s why people donate to “Feed America” and not “Feed America or maybe take food away from America”.
Chapek made his statement in response to criticism that Disney made a donation to Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley, one of the main sponsors of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which will likely be signed into law. by Governor Ron DeSantis.
“Disney absolutely should have had a pretty good idea of how Dennis Baxley would vote when they gave him money, given that he didn’t shy away from sharing his views on a host of topics,” said Oliver said in response.
Oliver played a clip of Baxley meeting with a few constituents and warning them, “I know some neighborhoods where there’s a big infestation of gay people pushing their agenda.”
Oliver noted Baxley’s use of the word “infestation”. The TV host called his use “disgusting” and then turned to Chapek, who he called his “business thumb”.
The comedian mocked Chapek’s stance that the “various stories” produced by the company, such as “Encanto” and “Black Panther,” are “more powerful than any tweet or lobbying effort.”
“That’s obviously nonsense,” Oliver said.
The segment ended with the host rejecting Chapek’s apology last Friday and Disney suspending its political donations in Florida pending review.
He concluded, “Marginalized creators have made Disney billions of dollars. Now, should it embarrass them that it took them until this week to realize that they shouldn’t be taking this money and using it to actively undermine the interests of these creators? Who’s to say? I’ll tell you: I am. (Oliver was the voice of Zazu in Disney’s remake of “The Lion King.)
DeSantis defended the bill, saying it was not about discrimination, but rather was about making sure there was no “sexual instruction” given to young students.
“When you actually look at the bill and it says ‘no sexual instruction to children in kindergarten through third grade’, how many parents want their kids to be transgender or something injected into classroom instruction ?” DeSantis said, according to a CBS News report.
“It basically comes down to saying to our young students, do you really want to be taught about sex? And it’s any sexual stuff,” he said. “But I definitely think right now we’re seeing a focus on transgender, telling kids that they may be able to choose genders and stuff.”