Disney employee Nicholas Maldonado holds a sign while protesting outside Walt Disney World on March 22, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Employees are currently on a company-wide strike to protest Walt Disney Co.’s response to the controversial law known as the “Do n’t Say Gay” bill passed in Florida.
Octavio Jones | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Jeff Morel, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer who helped the architect DisneyA public reaction to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law has decided to leave the company.
“Three months after taking this new position, it became clear that it wasn’t appropriate for several reasons,” Morel said in a letter to his team acquired by CNBC. .. “After discussing this [Disney CEO] Bob [Chapek], I decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. “
Christina Shake, Disney adopted earlier this monthLeads Disney’s communications activities and reports directly to Chapek. In a note to Disney staff written by CNBC, Chapek said, “We will oversee communication between the company and the segment and will continue to be the chief spokesperson.”
Morel’s three-month tenure was volatile. He took on the job many years later as the chief spokesman for the oil and energy giant BP. Prior to that, he was a White House correspondent at ABC News and was the chief spokesperson for the US Department of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
According to those who worked with him, Morel set out to make Disney’s communications more transparent than his predecessor, Zenia Mucha, who is known for his strict adherence to Disney’s image. bottom.
After starting work on January 24, Morel will publicly explain to Disney and Chapek why he didn’t take a public position on Florida’s controversial “don’t say gay” law. Led to. Chapek wrote to staff on March 7 explaining why Disney did not publicly issue a statement condemning the law.
“Company statements rarely change the outcome or the mind.” Chapek wrote.. “Instead, they are often armed by one or the other, further dividing and inflaming.”
Morel’s ideas were based on setting precedent, according to those familiar with the matter. He will publicly fight future human rights issues, including potential crimes from China, a key market for Disney content, if Disney takes a public position against “don’t say gay.” I was afraid I might have to. Morel also said that 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who supported the bill, would use Disney as a punching bag if the company opposed the bill. I was afraid.
Morel has proved right in the last few weeks after Disney quickly overturned its decision to remain silent in a massive protest from Disney employees. Both Trump and DeSantis came after Disney’s public challenge to “don’t call it gay.”DeSantis signed a bill earlier this month to remove certain privileges granted to Disney with respect to the land around Disney. Disney World Theme Park.
But by explaining Disney’s decision not to stand “don’t say gay” rather than just taking a public position, Morel’s strategy was in protests for months that might have been avoided. Opened the company. After the company’s dithering response, Disney employees used the hashtag “FireChapek” to strike and run a social media campaign.
The Disney brand is arguably its most important asset, and the company has largely avoided this type of public relations failure in the past. Morel seems to be in the fall for the past two months by announcing his immediate resignation.
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