Well, we got some good news and some bad news about Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Unfortunately, it seems to be more of the latter than the former.

Disney Spinning Right Round

Why does he look like he got caught doing a 180?

It seems that the backlash over Disney’s silence and his own memo to his staffers has finally convinced CEO Bob Chapek to end said silence. According to Blog Mickey, Chapek has chosen to end Disney’s silence on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Actually, in his own words, Chapek claimed that he (and by extension Disney) had been “opposed to the bill from the outset”. Even though his words represent a complete 180 turn from his previous statements of neutrality?

Apparently, to prove his newfound sincerity, Bob Chapek is also donating $5 million USD to various organizations that work to protect LGBT rights. According to CNBC, the list of organizations include the Human Rights Campaign, but that’s the only one they name. They don’t specify how many organizations are receiving the money, and which ones Chapek is donating to. While I suppose this is a start, I can’t help but feel that we’re not getting a complete picture here. In addition, though, Chapek mentions that he directly called Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and got him to agree to a meeting to discuss the bill in person. This seems like a pretty big step for Disney, right? Well, as it turns out…

Bob Chapek Caught in a Lie?

MC2 Saint Barth Kids Mickey Mouse-print Cotton T-shirt - Farfetch
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mickey.

Just a short time later on the same day, another article from Blog Mickey reported on a very revealing statement from the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, apparently made on Twitter in direct response to Bob Chapek’s own announcement of Disney’s newfound official opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. According to that statement, The Walt Disney Company did not reach out to the State of Florida at any time before today on March 9, 2022. Chapek did make a call to DeSantis’ office on that day, but that was literally the first they have heard from him. It seems to contradict Chapek’s claim that they had always opposed the bill now, doesn’t it?

Out of the mouths of homophobic governors.

A “Very Open” Florida Governor at Work Here

Furthermore, Ron DeSantis’s office states no in-person meeting has been scheduled yet after the call with Bob Chapek, in complete contradiction to Chapek’s own words. Perhaps the most damning detail here is that DeSantis is most definitely not changing his position on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In fact, he seems to make a thinly veiled threat to Disney as a whole in his statement.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' statement in response to Bob Chapek's official opposition to the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

The second to last paragraph in the statement reads: “Disney is a family-friendly company that creates wholesome entertainment for kids. The same Florida parents who take their families to Disney also support parental rights in education, because they do not want their young children exposed to inappropriate content about sex and gender theory at school.” So in other words: DeSantis appears to be threatening to label Bob Chapek and Disney as a whole as pedophiles, if he doesn’t reverse his position. Remember, this is the guy Chapek characterized as “being ‘very open’ to hearing concerns about the legislation”. Does that sound like the case here? It certainly doesn’t seem so to me.

Bob Chapek and the Very Hard Decision?

Bob Chapek frowning on camera.
No sympathy from me here. Not in this case.

This is just pure speculation on my part, but here’s my take on what will happen next for ol’ Bob Chapek. Up until now, Chapek has been trying to play both sides. He appeared to be supporting both sides in order to make money off of both of them. Or at the very least, keep one side from cutting off the flow of cash to him.

Now though, it’s an untenable position for Bob Chapek. If he continues on the same “Play both sides” course, both sides will see him as wishy-washy. Thus, both sides would reject him. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place here. He has to firmly pick a side to stand on. However, If he gives clear support to one side, he’ll lose the support of the other. Chapek is going to lose support and money here. Now the real question is: which side is Chapek going to fall on?

This is just more speculation on my part, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Bob Chapek is still going to continue to try and play both sides here. He just loves his money too much to sacrifice it, so he’ll keep on showing open support with the LGBT community while not doing anything that truly rocks the boat with the conservatives. Maybe this will finally make enough people hate him to oust him as CEO of Disney? Well, we shall see when more news about this pops up in the coming days. Take my speculations with a grain of salt until then.

Source: Blog Mickey, Blog Mickey, Twitter