Disney CEO apologizes to staff for stance on Florida LGBTQ bill

March 12, 2022, 12:24 AM UTC

Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek apologized to employees for not taking a tougher stance against Florida legislation that would ban schools from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with younger kids.

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights,” Chapek said in statement Friday. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”

He said Disney would increase its support for advocacy groups looking to combat similar legislation in other states. The company has also paused all political contributions in the state of Florida as it looks to create a lobbying effort that “better reflects our values,” Chapek said.

Chapek’s apology comes just days after he told employees that he didn’t think Disney should issue political statements because its positions could be “weaponized” by other parties in a debate. After that decision drew criticism from Disney employees, Chapek reversed course and said Disney would publicly oppose the bill. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a proponent of the legislation, said this week that the state’s policies are “going to be based on the best interests of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations.”

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