Disney CEO praised by celebrities after ‘Don’t Say Gay’ statement

Bob Chapek
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus

Disney CEO Bob Chapek received encouragement from some ‘Stars Wars’ and Marvel celebrities after he clarified the company’s position on Florida’s Don’t Say Gay legislation.

Facing a potential boycott of the Walt Disney Company by members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, Chapek released the following statement:

While we have been strong supporters of the community for decades, I understand that many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill. We were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind the scenes working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

According to Variety, a report recently exposed how Disney quietly funded sponsors of Don’t Say Gay bill, formally known as the Parental Rights in Education Bill. Per The Independent, the legislation bans schools from teaching about gender and sexual orientation to students under the age of ten. 

In light of Disney’s donations to candidates who support this policy, and its silence when the bill was signed into law by Governor Ron De Santis, the company received sharp criticism from the entertainment industry and members of the public on social media platforms. 

Many felt that Disney’s overt support of the LGBTQ+ community did not match its covert backing of candidates who sponsored the controversial legislation.

Chapek’s statement was viewed as a step in the right direction by some celebrities, who tweeted their support of Disney’s current stance on the matter.

Mark Ruffalo quoted Chapek’s tweet and added, “Bravo!”

Vincent D’Onofrio tweeted, “This is good.”

Pedro Pacal shared an image:

However, many industry insiders chose not to comment on Chapek’s statement at all. While there may be a variety of reasons for this, perhaps for some their silence may reflect a sense that Disney has not yet done enough to restore full confidence in its brand.