Disney Executive Fired, Openly Opposed DeSantis' Anti-Groomer Bill
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to unemployment a pro-grooming Disney executive goes.
Peter Rice, a top TV executive at the media giant, was let go on Thursday, according to the Hollywood publication Deadline.
Rice generated headlines in March when he publicly came out against Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education bill despite Disney CEO Bob Chapek not initially taking a stand.
He called the legislation — which prohibits teachers from giving classroom instruction to young children in matters of sexuality or gender identity — “a violation of fundamental human rights.”
(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve documented how Big Media has tried to push the grooming agenda, even as parents are opposed to it and generally supportive of bills like the Florida parental rights legislation. We’ll keep bringing America the truth. You can help us by subscribing.)
While Rice’s profile has been removed from Disney’s website, an archived version listed him as “chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) which creates original entertainment and news programming for The Walt Disney Company’s streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Star, and its cable and broadcast networks.”
“Under Rice’s oversight, DGE develops, produces and markets over 4,500 hours of programming annually across more than 300 entertainment and news programs,” the website read.
Rice joined Disney when it acquired 21st Century Fox, moving over in 2019.
His firing this week was called a “Shocker!” by Deadline, and Variety reported he “was blindsided” by the news.
“Disney insiders said Chapek, who took the CEO reins from Bob Iger in February 2020, felt Rice was unhappy with the massive reorganization of TV operations that Chapek implemented in October 2020,” Variety reported.
“Nonetheless, Rice had received only positive feedback and compliments about his leadership and operational decisions in the past at Disney,” it said. “There was no indication that the corporate side was dissatisfied with his work — reinforced by the fact that he signed a new multi-year deal late last year. “
Sources said Chapek didn’t feel Rice was the proper cultural fit for the organization. However, at least one anonymous insider told The Hollywood Reporter the kerfuffle over the Florida parental rights bill might have played a role in Rice’s departure.
Let’s flash back to March. While opposition to Florida’s bill grew in Hollywood, with leftists decrying what they called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Chapek had planned to distance the company from political issues.
As the Hollywood Reporter noted, he issued a statement about the legislation that “corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds” and that the best way for Disney to affect change was “through the inspiring content we produce.”
While there was internal backlash — such as employee walkouts and a public letter from Pixar employees — Rice was the highest-profile objector to Chapek’s refusal to wade into the grooming waters.
“Personally, I see this law as a violation of fundamental human rights,” he said at the time.
Yes, apparently, the state of Florida banning teachers from inculcating students in third grade or lower in matters of human sexuality or gender ideology is a denial of human rights. It sounds like common sense to everyone else, but apparently Peter Rice knows best.
You probably know the rest.
Disney caved and Chapek pretended he was vehemently against the parental rights bill all along.
Parents, meanwhile, began feeling that Disney wasn’t a particularly safe source for their children’s entertainment, particularly after leaked internal videos showed top creative brass were actively pushing a pro-transgender agenda on kids through programming.
And now, nobody’s happy.
A Disney source told the Hollywood Reporter that Chapek “should have been able to frame the company’s opposition to the law earlier in a way that wouldn’t have opened the door to attacks on ‘woke Disney’ from DeSantis, by acknowledging the need to protect children from harmful content. ‘Was this one really that hard?’ he asks. Now, he says, Disney ‘has managed to p*** off both sides at once.'”
DeSantis, meanwhile, has sought to eliminate special privileges for the company’s Florida-based Disney World property conferred by the state government, including moving to dissolve a special district that allowed the Walt Disney Co. to act as its own government there.
Add that to the fact Chapek is already on shaky ground at Disney for a variety of reasons and getting rid of Rice — seen by many as a possible successor to the CEO — looks more like a canny move than a “shocker!”
“During all the press about the DeSantis fiasco, it’s incredibly uncomfortable, for a CEO whose power is slipping away, to have the person who is seen as your successor sitting in the room with you. You kill that person,” a source told the Hollywood Reporter.
Whatever the reason may be for Rice’s ouster, you can’t claim it’s not justice. And it’s not like there aren’t others in the company deserving of the same treatment.
Heave-ho, heave-ho, there are plenty more to go.
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