After weeks of public backlash (and rightly so) over Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s silence surrounding the Walt Disney Company’s lack of public response to the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida, the head honcho has apologized in a company-wide email on Friday. He also said Disney will pause all political donations in Florida during a restructuring of its political giving framework.
Here is the full email in its entirety:
To my fellow colleagues, but especially our LGBTQ+ community,
Thank you to all who have reached out to me sharing your pain, frustration and sadness over the company’s response to the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was. It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.
Our employees see the power of this great company as an opportunity to do good. I agree. Yes, we need to use our influence to promote that good by telling inclusive stories, but also by standing up for the rights of all.
Starting immediately, we are increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states. We are hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values. And today, we are pausing all political donations in the state of Florida pending this review. But, I know there is so much more work to be done. I am committed to this work and to you all, and will continue to engage with the LGBTQ+ community so that I can become a better ally. You will hear more about our progress in the coming weeks.
I truly believe we are an infinitely better and stronger company because of our LGBTQ+ community. I missed the mark in this case but am an ally you can count on—and I will be an outspoken champion for the protections, visibility, and opportunity you deserve.Bob
It is nice to see the email, as the LGBTQ+ community needed to be heard and wanted the most magical place on earth, a place they make their livelihood, a place they love to be on and off the clock, to know they had their back. For weeks it seemed they didn’t, and now it appears they do, thanks to this email and even the address he made during the shareholders meeting. Hopefully, Chapek keeps to his words, it would be a big boost for him (trust me, he needs it) and the LGBTQ+ community alike.
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