Disney CEO says company is ‘lightning rod for clicks’ amid ongoing fight with Ron DeSantis over Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has called the company a ‘lightning rod for clicks’ amid his longstanding dispute with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. of State.

Chapek made the comments during an interview with the Hollywood journalist, published on September 10.

In the interview, Chapek said The Walt Disney Company is always committed to representing a “brighter future for families of all types, however they define themselves.

He added that he had “stood firm” against political attacks on the company.

He said: “When you are a lightning rod for clicks and political talk, the essence of our brand can be hijacked or misused to try to meet the needs of a particular group’s agenda. We want to rise above that.”

Disney was embroiled in a public dispute with DeSantis over the Florida controversy Don’t say gay bill, which prohibits teachers from encouraging classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary school.

In March, Disney executives said in a statement that they work to repeal the legislation after Disney staff in Florida demanded more action and staged a strike on March 22.

Chapek, speaking ahead of DeSantis’ Sunday speech, said he had remained consistent “during the ultimate barrage of attacks from some political constituencies.” He did not make a direct reference to DeSantis.

He added that the company wanted to represent the “needs and expectations of our cast members.”

Disney representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for additional comment, which was made outside of normal working hours.

Robert M. Larson