Disney CEO Bob Chapek had a rough week after it was revealed that the company had given money to many of the Republicans who created Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill. The CEO’s first statement didn’t quite hit the mark, so he issued a stronger statement and promised to stop company donations to any politicians. Ron DeSantis was furious about the statement, slamming Disney as a “woke” corporation.
During his Sunday show, John Oliver tackled the controversy and slammed both Disney and the Florida Governor. “So, it’s pretty clear what he thinks the guts of this legislation are,” said the host. “It’s not about sex at all. It’s about denying the existence of gay people.”
Oliver read Chapek’s statement, “We are telling important stories, raising voices, and I believe, changing hearts and minds. Encanto, Black Panther, Pose, Reservation Dogs, Coco, Soul, Modern Family, Shang-Chi, Summer of Soul, Love, Victor… These and all of our diverse stories are our corporate statements—and they are more powerful than any tweet or lobbying effort. I firmly believe that our ability to tell such stories—and have them received with open eyes, ears, and hearts—would be diminished if our company were to become a political football in any debate.”
“Is this really a path that you want to go down, Disney?” Oliver asked. “Because you’re the same company that’s coded basically every villain in your movies as gay, stereotyped minorities to a breathtaking degree, and had something called a ‘wench auction’ in place at Disneyland until 2018. So, I don’t know if you’ve had a 100 percent net positive effect here.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.