After its quiet response to the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” Bill passed in Florida this week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has confirmed the company would now donate $5 million dollars to protect the LGBTQ community and its rights. The announcement was made Wednesday, during the company’s Investor Day.
This is Chapek’s first public stance against the bill. Monday, he released a vague, seemingly insincere memo on the matter. Considering how much revenue the company generates for the state yearlong, it comes as no surprise that those same fans who frequent its parks and entertainment venues – and consider it a home away from home – feel like they’ve been slapped in the face.
All week long, members and allies of the LGBTQ community as well as Disney shareholders have called for Chapek’s resignation. During the company-wide meeting Wednesday, however, Chapek made it clear that he would not be stepping down from his position. Instead, he said he would be meeting with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss the company’s “concerns” over the potential legislation.
The bill, which would limit discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, is reportedly headed to his desk, where he’s expected to sign it into law any day now.
“The governor heard our concerns and agreed to meet with me and LGBTQ+ members of our senior team in Florida to discuss the ways to address them,” Chapek said during the meeting.
Now, DeSantis appears to be “very open” to discussions of the bill, and is eager to prevent the law from being “weaponized.” However, the fact that he doesn’t understand how the law is already a weapon itself is the problem.
It’s unclear how exactly the money will be dispersed or which to organizations it will specifically go to. It is worth noting that the new amount being pledged is $2 million more than what was previously pledged in 2021.
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