‘We try to be everything to everybody’, Disney CEO on ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill controversy


On the sidelines of Disney’s D23 expo, the company CEO Bob Chapek, in an interview opened up about the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill controversy that erupted earlier this year when Disney was found donating to some of the bill’s backers in the state legislature.

Stating that it was a complex social issue, the Disney boss added that trying to please every side becomes very difficult in such cases.

“These are complex social issues where we absolutely, positively want to represent the needs and the expectations of our cast members, but we also realize that sometimes in such a divided world, there’s not alignment between what possibly large constituencies of our guest and consumer base are looking for in terms of the kind of content that they want to show their kids at this particular time,”

“What we try to do is be everything to everybody. That tends to be very difficult because we’re the Walt Disney Company. When you’re a lightning rod for clicks and for political podium speeches, the essence of our brand can be misappropriated or misused to try to fit the needs of any one particular group’s agenda. We want to rise above that.” added the Disney CEO.

The Disney boss asserted that he didn’t want the company to be caught up in any ‘political subterfuge’ but at the same time wanted to represent “a brighter tomorrow for families of all types, regardless of how they define themselves.”

As reported by WION, after the Florida senate passed the Parental Rights in Education bill in March earlier this year, Disney initially failed to take a stand for the LGBTQ+ community.

Read more: Disney faces backlash after emerging as fund donor for ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

After the controversy snowballed, Disney changed its course and stopped funding political leaders in the state. It also released a statement where it stated that the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed.

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.” Disney said in the statement.


While Democrats and Walt Disney have called the passing of legislation immoral and dubbed it as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, contrary to its formal name, the Republicans sternly disagree.

The GOP lawmakers have stated that the bill does not outrightly ban discussion on gay or transgender people in schools, albeit it bans classroom discussion for students in third grade or younger.

(With inputs from agencies)



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