Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapeck tells employees he’s sorry he didn’t report the so-called “parental rightsCritics of the legislation dubbed the bill “don’t say gay,” and Chapek revealed that the company was suspending political donations in Florida.
“You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I’m sorry,” Chapek said in a note obtained by the Hollywood journalist and other media.
Chapek also outlined the company’s next steps in his memo.
“Starting now, we are increasing our support for advocacy groups to fight similar legislation in other states. We are working hard to create a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values. And today, we are suspending all political donations in the State of Florida pending that review,” the memo reads.
In his memo, Chapek acknowledged the negative comments he’s heard from Disney employees expressing “their pain, frustration, and sadness over the company’s response to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.” of Florida”.
“Talking to you, reading your messages and meeting you helped me better understand how painful our silence was,” Chapek said in the memo.
Chapek’s apology comes at the end of a long week for Disney.
For the first time at an annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Chapek revealed he opposed Florida’s bill that limits what educators can say about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. . Chapek has been criticized for not speaking out sooner and for taking a tougher stance against the bill in Florida, where Disney is one of the largest employers and wields considerable political clout.
Chapek said Wednesday that the company is quietly lobbying lawmakers behind the scenes against the bill. The Disney CEO also said he plans to meet the governor in person. Ron DeSantis.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Disney was quickly caught in the crossfire between DeSantis and an LGBTQ+ advocacy group.
Chapek on Wednesday announced a $5 million donation to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to support LGBTQ+ rights. But the HRC refused Disney’s money and chastised the company for not doing more to fight the legislation.
And DeSantis, a supporter of the new bill, released a statement aimed at Disney that read, “Companies that have made their fortunes catering to families should understand that parents don’t want this injected into the class of kindergarten of their child. Our policies will be based on the best interests of the citizens of Florida, not the daydreams of wide-awake corporations.