Respect Equality

Human Rights Campaign refuses donation from Disney until ‘meaningful action’ is taken against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Story at a glance

  • The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Wednesday announced that it would not be accepting a $5 million donation pledged by Disney CEO Bob Chapek during a shareholders’ meeting “until [it sees] them build on their public commitment and work with LGBTQ+ advocates.”
  • Chapek had previously said Disney would not get involved in the controversy over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
  • HRC wrote in its statement, “This should be the beginning of Disney’s advocacy efforts rather than the end.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Wednesday announced that it would not be accepting a $5 million donation pledged by Disney CEO Bob Chapek during a shareholders’ meeting “until [it sees] them build on their public commitment and work with LGBTQ+ advocates.” 

AP


After initially saying that the company would not get involved in the controversy over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as Chapek did not want Disney to become a “political football,” the CEO backtracked Wednesday and said that he opposes the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill.

However, HRC does not see this action as enough on Disney’s part. 

HRC said that it would like to see The Walt Disney Company advocate “to ensure that dangerous proposals, like Florida’s Don’t Say Gay or Trans bill, don’t become dangerous laws, and if they do, to work to get them off the books.”

The organization also noted that businesses have had major impacts in the past in the work toward fighting for LGBTQ+ rights “from marriage equality to the defeat of House Bill 2 in North Carolina and beyond.”


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HRC said that Disney’s renouncement of the Don’t Say Gay bill was “merely the first step” toward “the right direction,” and that the organization encourages the company to fight for its employees and applauding the employees who “bravely spoke out to say their CEO’s silence was unacceptable.”

HRC wrote in its statement, “This should be the beginning of Disney’s advocacy efforts rather than the end.”

Chapek had said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) had agreed to meet with him and a group of Disney LGBTQ+ leaders to discuss the bill and their concerns, after Chapek spoke with DeSantis over the phone.


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