As Disney continues to find itself on an island surrounded by the waters of controversy, one Disney shareholder has come out swinging.
Ray Keating, an economist, and editor over at DisneyBizJournal.com, shared his opinion on the current political situation surrounding The Walt Disney Company. “Here’s a suggestion for Disney CEO Bob Chapek: Get back to business, that is, excellence in storytelling, and stop wasting shareholder’s money on political crusades that have nothing to do with Disney’s business,” Keating told Fox News Digital. “We all have the right to have our voices heard on issues, but not on the shareholders’ dime.”
This statement comes after multiple week-long backlashes after Disney responded to Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” Bill. Known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” this piece of legislation is as simple as the title. As stated by NPR, “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.”
DeSantis signed the legislation into law this week that bars instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Critics have depicted the bill as hurtful to LGBTQ inclusiveness and dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The Gov. criticized The Walt Disney Company and other aspects of the Hollywood industry at large. “For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and they are going to actively work to repeal it — I think, one, was fundamentally dishonest. But two, I think that crossed the line”, said the Gov., “This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives. They do not run this state. They do not control this state”.
Disney recently issued a statement regarding Gov. DeSantis signing the bill into law, saying, “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,” the Disney statement said. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
According to Keating, Disney has “succumbed to political pressure from activists on the Left, and now it’s getting hit from the Left and the Right,” Keating told Fox News Digital. “If I weren’t a shareholder, I’d find it amusing.”
These issues have left many wondering how much longer Chapek will hold the title of “CEO” as the backlash continues to rage on. Several Florida state legislators who do not approve of Disney’s political stances are now working on a way to remove Disney’s special privileges within the state.
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