Bob Chapek’s Company Wide Email Has Seemingly Made Things Worse

Bob Chapek
Credit: Disney

Bob Chapek has been the CEO of The Walt Disney Company for just over two years. And those two years have been less than easy. Right after he took the reins, the Parks were forced to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From there, fans have been critical of Chapek for nearly everything — from not hiring back Cast Members and replacing them with third-party vendors to raising prices while cutting experiences. Disney has also taken a hit for increasing food prices and decreasing portion sizes.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

Lately, Disney has been in the hot seat for not speaking out against Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill. Critics of the bill claim that it unfairly targets the LGBTQ+ community. Disney finally released a statement, but criticism of the company’s response only grew. The criticism got so high that CEO Bob Chapek sent a company-wide email saying that he supports the LGBTQ community and those who work for Disney. The email was extensive, but nowhere in it did condemn the bill. In fact, in the email, Chapek states that companies like Disney can rarely create any meaningful change in state policies.

Bob Chapek

Credit: CNBC.com

While the email was meant to make Cast Members and Disney fans feel better about the whole situation, it seems to have done the exact opposite. After Chapek’s email was leaked by The Hollywood Reporter, many took to Twitter to voice their shock and anger.

One of the people who spoke out was Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS), a Disney Cast Member who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Siemon had a big problem with Chapek claiming that the company did not have the power or influence to change potential Florida policy.

In 2016 Disney had the LGBTQ+ community’s backs. They said they would stop filming in Georgia if it passed the hateful bathroom bill. Then the bill died. Disney made real change and took the right position and it can happen again. We’re not fools.

It has also been reported that Chapek does not want to bring issues like the Florida bill into the workplace, as he considers them, “irrelevant to the company.” He — along with many others — feels that the company should stay out of politics. Twitter user Rob Yeo (@robjyeo) found that ironic, considering Disney has donated to every sponsor and cosponsor of the bill.

“I just believe the company should stay out of politics apart from the donating to politicians and lobbying parts”

Famed former Disney Imagineer Kevin Lively (@Livelyland) believes that Chapek has millions of reasons not to speak out against the bill. All of them have to do with the money the company makes and the money the company donates.

He should just say he has 578 million reason$ to not condemn it…

In his email, Chapek said that Disney has always promoted inclusion, which can be seen in films like Encanto, Coco, and Black Panther. Jeff (@jeffgordonla) thought that Chapek’s claim about inclusivity was a claim that has been made by other people before.

This is Disney’s equivalent of saying I can’t be racist or homophobic because I have a diverse group of friends . What a joke . This is shameful

Fresh Baked (@FrshBakedDisney) took a more lighthearted approach to condemn both Chapek and his email. Disneyland Resort will soon be hosting Disneyland After Dark – Villains Night, and they think Chapek should be a part of it.

Has Disney announced yet where we can meet Bob Chapek on Villains Night tonight? #SayGay

Disney’s reactions and statements towards the Parental Rights in Education bill has been overshadowing nearly everything else at the company. Disney will be having its Shareholders meeting on March 9 and many are thinking that Chapek will be asked about his stance. The meeting will be live, so it seems unlikely that he will be able to avoid answering the question.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!