Bob Iger DOn't Say Gay
Credit: Disney (background image)

Bob Iger on ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Controversy; ‘We Change the World for the Good, and That Must Continue’

Bob Iger has returned as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and one of his first orders of business has been to host a Town Hall for Disney Cast Members and employees.

The Town Hall took place on Monday, November 28, 2022, and gave Cast Members the opportunity to ask Iger directly their own specific questions as he returns to the company.


Credit: Disney

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A source in attendance revealed to Disney Tips that one of the questions asked of the returning CEO focused on where the company now stands on the “Don’t Say Gay” situation. Earlier this year when then Parental Rights in Education Bill was under consideration by the DeSantis administration, Disney (under then-CEO Bob Chapek) initially remained silent on the matter.

Controversy ensued when the company (and specifically Chapek) did not initially share opposition to the bill. The company later released a statement in opposition to the bill, followed by an apology from Chapek sent to Disney Cast Members, however, damage had been done both with Cast Members and fans, and the DeSantis administration who began feuding with the company.

Bob Iger, Bob Chapek in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Credit: Disney

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When the question regarding the company’s current stance on the situation came up during today’s Town Hall, Iger said:

Our LBGTQ employees are important to us; that is a given. This company has been telling stories for years, and they’ve had a positive impact on the world. One of our core values is inclusion, tolerance. I think about Black Panther and Coco. We change the world for the good, and that must continue….We’re not going to make people happy all the time, and we will not lessen our values to make everyone happy all the time. It’s a balance. We do what we think is right. Not everybody will agree with you, that’s not the way the world works nowadays – but we have to try to do the right thing.

Bob Iger

Credit: Disney

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Iger’s comments were met with a round of applause from Cast Members who were in attendance of the event in person. When Iger was CEO of the company during an attempt by Georgia’s state government to push anti-trans legislature, the Walt Disney Company joined several others in pulling out of filming projects in the state.

While we cannot be certain of how Iger would have handled the anti-LGBTQ legislation in Florida if he were still CEO rather than Chapek, he did share some interesting thoughts on how the company could handle political statements (or lack thereof) going forward.

When asked if Disney will stay out of making political statements in the future, Iger responded:

There’s a missed idea of what politics is. I don’t think when you’re telling stories and trying to be a good citizen of the world, that’s politics. It’s not. I’m going to try quiet things down, but all subjects shouldn’t be political.

We will continue to monitor updates as Iger gets back to work with the Walt Disney Company, and will be back with additional information as we have it here on Disney Tips.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."