Fans Want Disney CEO Bob Chapek FIRED After “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Email

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Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

After multiple days passed by, The Walt Disney Company finally released a statement on the new newly passed “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The Walt Disney Company has shown support for the LGBTQ+ community in the past, and a portion of Disney’s Cast Members who fall within the community, so seeing Disney wait as long as they did to release a statement upset many.

But even after Disney finally released a statement on the matter, fans were even more upset and angry. Disney stated that it understood the issue’s importance to employees and customers, but fans felt the statement was a “slap in the face”.

After the backlash from the initial statement, the Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek sent out an internal email to Cast Members, which was leaked online — and now fans are calling for him to be fired from the company (again).

bob chapek onstage
Credit: Disney

Related: New Hollywood Studios Park Map Features Same-Sex Couple

Many are dubbing the bill the “Don’t Say Gay” bill because it targets the LGBTQ community. Specifically, it states:

“Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Once the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was passed, President Joe Biden came out stating that the bill is “hateful”, which is something that former Disney CEO Bob Iger also came out and said.

When speaking to the controversial Florida bill, which was passed at the end of February, the NPR states:

“The legislation prohibits any instruction about sexuality or gender between kindergarten and third grade “or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Mickey Mouse (L) with Disney CEO Bob Chapek (R)
Credit: Disney

As the backlash persisted, Disney finally released a statement on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which reads:

“We understand how important this issue is to our LGBTQ+ employees and many others. For nearly a century, Disney has been a unifying force that brings people together. We are determined that it remains a place where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The biggest impact we can have in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create here and the diverse community organizations we support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community.”

Many felt as though this was not a statement and, instead, a “slap in the face”. Many took to social media to voice their disappointment and frustration, which caused even more backlash.

bob chapek with mickey and minnie
Credit: Disney

Shortly after, Disney CEO Bob Chapek sent an internal email to Cast Members, which was leaked online — and now fans are calling for him to be fired from the company (again).

Reporter Scott Gustin took to Twitter to write:

Chapek’s entire email deserves criticism – but this excerpt is truly stunning.

Disney fan account Park Journey is asking for the Disney Board of Directors to step in:

Iger’s legacy: Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm, Shanghai Disneyland and countless other things.

Chapek’s legacy: Not having a backbone.

It’s time for the Disney Board of Directors to step in. They made the wrong choice.

Another Disney fan, Lucy, took to social media to share the current Walt Disney Co. stock numbers, writing:

Disney Shareholders aren’t happy Bob Chapek. Since money seems to be all you care about, maybe this will finally help you understand that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, not political statements.

Jon did not hold back when sharing his thoughts to social media:

Bob Chapek saying that the biggest entertainment company in the world can’t bring about meaningful change except through paid subscriptions to their streaming service is the most deranged thing I’ve ever seen.

Many other fans are even calling for the Walt Disney Company to fire Bob Chapek. One Disney fan wrote:

I normally do not wish anyone to lose their job, but Bob Chapek should definitely be fired for his tone-deafness, lack of communication, and being behind the times.

Another fan took to Twitter to share that they are completely disgusting with Disney and Chapek, writing:

Because of Chapek and that letter, I’ve decided to not give another penny to anything Disney owns.

He needs to be fired. And I’m really displeased with the BoD that let him send that email.

If Disney wants my money, they need to share my values – protect LGBTQIA+ kids. NOW.

This is not the first time fans called for Disney to fire the CEO. In fact, a petition went viral last year and even became one of the “top signed” petitions on the website.

In early 2020, Bob Chapek took on the role of CEO of the Walt Disney Company after Bob Iger stepped down in early 2020. Prior to becoming CEO, Chapek was the Chairman of Parks and Resorts for Disney.

Chapek has been CEO during the ongoing pandemic and has made difficult decisions throughout this last year and a half, including budget cuts and layoffs. Some of the decisions that the Walt Disney Company has made with Chapek in the CEO role include the layoffs of thousands of Cast Members after the Parks shutdown due to the ongoing pandemic and the launch of Disney Genie, including the new paid FastPass system, Lightning Lane.

Many feel as though Bob Chapek is not taking the company in the appropriate direction, and therefore, a petition was created (by an anonymous user) and has gained the attention of many Disney fans worldwide.

This was prior to the current controversy surrounding the CEO in regards to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Disney+
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company as a whole has been pushing inclusion for quite some time now. From reimagining Splash Mountain into a The Princess and the Frog theme to having a gender neutral dress code at the Parks, the company has made multiple efforts in depicting more accurate representation.

We have also seen the Disney Parks transition the welcome announcements Guests hear in various lands and attractions to be more accommodating to all Guests when walking into the theme parks. Instead of greeting Guests by saying, Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” the theme parks now say, “Hello everyone,” moving toward a more inclusive statement that applies to people of all genders. You can read more about this here.

bob chapek
Credit: Disney

Disney has also listed out their intentions for this new initiative.

  • To make progress that ensures our workforce reflects the market.
  • To establish inclusion standards across all Disney General Entertainment content. By 2022, 50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from underrepresented groups.
  • Over $100M Charitable Giving to programs serving underrepresented communities (Fiscal Year 2020). To ensure we direct more than 50% of our annual charitable giving to programs serving underrepresented communities.
  • To put the responsibility for an inclusive culture in the hands of our leaders and employees through comprehensive education and engagement efforts.
bob chapek
Credit: Disney

The recent efforts made by The Walt Disney Company is the reason many are surprised with Disney’s statement and Chapek’s email on the bill.

How do you feel about Disney’s statement or Chapek’s email on the “don’t say gay” bill? Let us know in the comments below.

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