Disney CEO says he opposes Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Disney CEO said in a shareholder call on Wednesday that he has signed the Human Rights Campaign’s statement opposing Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill.

CEO Bob Chapek said he will also be donating $5 million to the organization following the HB1557’s passage.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

The bill bans the teaching of sexuality in kindergarten through third grade as well as later discussions if they happen in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

Chapek said on the call that he called Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday to discuss the company’s concerns. He said DeSantis agreed to meet with Chapek and LGBTQ members of the Disney team.

READ: Florida Senate passes controversial Parental Rights in Education bill

Chapek said DeSantis told him the law would not be “weaponized” to target the LGBTQ community.

“He was very open to this conversation,” Chapek said. “I was encouraged.”

His denouncement of the bill comes a day after critics of the bill rallied to encourage Disney shareholders to use their leverage to stop the bill from being signed into law.

“This is a step towards The Walt Disney Company upholding their corporate values in opposing the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and is only due to the incredible advocacy of Floridians and Disney workers who are bravely standing up to hold their employer accountable,” Rep. Anna Eskamani said in a statement. “This is not the time to let up, this is the time to push words into action. To ask Disney to stop funding candidates that sponsor and endorse these dangerous policies and ensure that Disney workers have a safe state to call home for themselves and their families.”

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for updates.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.