Disney’s CEO Has Responded To Criticism Over Their Lack Of A Response To Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill (formally known as the Parental Rights In Education bill) continues to work its way through the state’s legislature, all while SNL‘s Kate McKinnon treated it as ridiculously as the backlash to the controversial bill would demand. The state’s mask-hating governor, Ron DeSantis, has continued to defend the bill’s content (as the bill’s nickname goes, it would prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity”), and the fallout has been, well, huge.

People wondered why Disney, which obviously has a huge presence in the state that houses Disney World, hasn’t said jack about the bill. Also, criticism landed upon how the conglomerate has donated to politicians who support the bill (a move denounced by Abigail Disney), and finally, CEO Bob Chapek has explained why people who were waiting for a statement only heard the sound of crickets. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Chapek asserted that corporate statements can be “counterproductive”:

[Y]ou deserve an explanation for why we have not issued a statement. We are going to have a more fulsome conversation about this at the company-wide Reimagine Tomorrow Summit in April, but I will preview that discussion now as it is so timely.

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.

The “counterproductive” descriptor probably isn’t going to do much to convince LGBTQ+ Disney employees. To that end, Chapek declared that he “want[s] to be crystal clear” in that “I and the entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities.” He added that Disney’s working to be more inclusive. That, uh, is apparently part of why Minnie Mouse recently wore a pantsuit, but Chapek did concede that “the very need to reiterate that commitment [to inclusiveness] means we still have more work to do.”

(Via Hollywood Reporter)