Josh D'Amaro with Cinderella Castle

Disney Executives Reportedly Rejected Pleas from Disney Parks, Experiences, & Products Leaders to Denounce Controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

A new report from The New York Times reveals that when Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products leaders approached executives in The Walt Disney Company about responding to the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, commonly called “Don’t Say Gay”, they were “rebuffed”.

Josh D'Amaro with Cinderella Castle

The action began as over 150 companies had signed on to a Human Rights Campaign letter denouncing the bill, which limits what educators can say regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, per the Times. Leaders of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, presumably including Chairman Josh D’Amaro, urged the corporate executives to take action and add their name to the list, but were “rebuffed” by corporate leaders.

The rejection came as Disney CEO Bob Chapek decided to take a more behind-the-scenes approach to political issues, choosing an attempt to use their significant lobbying power in Florida to soften the bill. This backfired significantly, prompting statements from various creators and employees of Disney against the company and eventually a full reversal and apology from Chapek regarding his bungling of the situation. Disney Parks issued a brief statement earlier today in support of LGBTQIA+ communities and against the controversial bill which passed in the Florida Legislature last week.

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Employees still dissatisfied with the actions taken by Chapek are set to walk out today. In an attempt to get ahead of this, Chapek and LGBTQ+ leaders in the company held a virtual town hall, acknowledging the pain Disney caused when they decided not to speak out. Chapek briefly appeared during the call, saying “I understand where we have made mistakes — and the pain those mistakes caused. I know that our silence wasn’t just about the bill in Florida, but about every time an individual or institution that should have stood up for this community didn’t. I and the leadership team are determined to use this moment as a catalyst for more meaningful and lasting change,” per The New York Times.

Chapek also revealed that he will postpone a corporate management retreat set for next week in Orlando, and instead go on a “listening tour” at Disney worksites around the world. The company signed on in opposition of Texas’ controversial anti-transgender legislation earlier this week.

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  1. Regardless of what side you are on here (and I do believe the Disney employees should not be walking out over this and to me their jobs should be given to those who want to work)….
    Josh D’Amaro has proved to be feckless in dealing with Chapek and simply a pawn in the running of the parks. At one time under Iger he showed strength and a great ability to understand both the CMs and the guest experience. But now…..he runs scared.

  2. I’m sorry but, politics is getting out of hand. Any business or corporation should not be taking any political stance. Instead focus on accepting all instead of picking sides and dividing everyone.

    1. There is no accepting “both sides” when it comes to human rights and bigotry. You’re either on the right side of history or the wrong side. No in-between. No playing both sides.

    2. I agree that Disney should not have made a public comment on this issue. They have now isolated the majority of their base by essentially saying that parents have no right in the education of their children. I guess that don’t realize that it is those same parents who spend outrageous amounts of money at their parks.

  3. Yet one more reason Chapek has to go. Did not have the morals to do the right thing initially and only changed his tune when it appeared it was in his best interest to do so. Absolutely disgusting that a human rights issue was decided based on his fear of angering bigots, racists and homophobes.

  4. Disney actually has so many problems right now I’m not sure where they stand. They aren’t supporting their guests any longer or their staff. The parks that were once very magical no longer feel that way. In addition staff have lost the support of the company. If Bob stays I believe the magic will continue to be lost.

  5. Chapek should be gone!!!
    Any CEO who watches their company’s stock price drop from $197 to $117 needs to be without a job.
    As a LT shareholder, this is UNACCEPTABLE!

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