The day Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill stripping Walt Disney World’s special self-governing status into law, an excerpt from his forthcoming book “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for American Revival” reveals the advice the Sunshine State’s Republican leader gave to Disney’s since-ousted CEO Bob Chapek that could have saved him a lot of trouble, and maybe even his job.
Obtained first by Fox News Digital, the chapter diving into DeSantis’ dealings with Chapek and the Walt Disney Company reveals that, “As the controversy over the Parental Rights in Education bill was coming to a head, Chapek called me,” Florida’s governor writes. “He did not want Disney to get involved, but he was getting a lot of pressure to weigh in against the bill,” DeSantis says in the book being released on Tuesday.
It’s notable that Chapek, at least in his conversation with DeSantis, expressed that he did not want to bring his company into conflict with DeSantis — and more notable given the fact that he ultimately decided to throw Disney into back-to-back political battles that saw Chapek lose both, then his job.
Chapek told DeSantis that Disney gets “pressured all the time,” but said that the brewing outrage — based entirely on a leftist smear of the bill — was “different.” Chapek claimed “I haven’t seen anything like this before,” according to DeSantis.
Correctly, DeSantis recounts his advice to Chapek that included saying there would be limited periods of “outrage” from the woke mob when the bill passed Florida’s legislature and again when DeSantis signed the parental rights bill, but that it would be just “48 hours of outrage” and that it would be “mostly online.”
“Then there will be some new outrage that the woke mob will focus on and people will forget about this issue,” DeSantis also writes of the advice he gave Chapek, “especially considering the outrage is directed at a political-media narrative, not the actual text of the legislation itself.”
DeSantis is right on that point, too. The outrage mob moves from target to target like locusts from field to field, and just waiting out a few days of Twitter “activism” would have left Disney unscathed compared to what happened when Chapek took the bait and jumped into a political firestorm without fully considering what could happen.
As we all know now, Chapek ignored DeSantis’ advice, caved to the mob’s demands to come out publicly against the parental rights bill, and then doubled down with a pledge that Disney would pursue legal challenges to the legislation after it was passed and signed into law by DeSantis.
Chapek’s embrace of the woke mob and escalating war on Florida Republicans then saw DeSantis pursue a bill to strip Disney World of its self-governing status, an effort that was successful, and eventually cause Disney to oust Chapek and replace him with former CEO Bob Iger.
The winner in the whole affair was clearly Florida Republicans, namely Ron DeSantis who sailed to victory in his 2022 reelection bid by almost 20 points. Disney found out the hard way that caving to the demands of the woke mob only invites more chaos at the hands of the intolerants, and brought about consequences beyond what Chapek could have imagined.
Disney is only the beginning. When we finish with Woke Corporate America, they will all be out of work.