Things are going well for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Though Trump still has a lead on him if the two run in 2024 and end up going head to head, DeSantis is otherwise “the guy” in the GOP.
He has no real competition in Florida, is so far ahead of his Democratic challengers in the gubernatorial race that their running seems pointless, has taken a financial wrecking ball to Disney after it attacked his anti-groomer bill, and is the model for successful, proactive conservative leadership.
And now he’s gotten more good news: the woke Disney executive that led the Mouse’s charge against the anti-groomer bill, bringing financial ruin on his company in the process, just got fired.
That would be General Entertainment Content chairman Peter Rice. Rice is the woke exec who claimed that he saw the anti-groomer law “as a violation of fundamental human rights.” Now, with Disney suffering massive losses thanks to its opposition to DeSantis and consumer backlash, Rice has been fired by Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who himself also publicly rebuked the legislation and thus probably wanted to pin the blame on someone else.
Rice has been replaced by one of Chapek’s allies, Dana Walden.
Discussing the firing of Rice and his replacement with Dana Walden, Chapek, in a statement, said:
“Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three years has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse that consistently delivers the entertainment audiences crave.
“Her well-earned reputation for championing creative talent and developing programming that truly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit after hit, from ABC’s ‘Abbott Elementary’ and Onyx Collective’s Academy Award-winning ‘Summer of Soul,’ to Hulu Originals like ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ ‘Dopesick,’ ‘The Dropout’ and ‘The Kardashians.’
“She and Peter have worked closely together for years to create the best programming in the industry, and I can think of no one better than Dana to lead Disney General Entertainment to even greater heights.”
Chapek’s job, however, despite his being similarly outspoken in response to the Florida anti-groomer bill, seems secure, as Disney Board of Directors Chairman Susan Arnold released a statement in support of him, saying:
“The strength of The Walt Disney Company’s businesses coming out of the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future. In this important time of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the Board.”
Rice sent out a memo to employees regarding his firing, according to Variety, saying:
“Hi everyone, I am incredibly sad that this will be the last ‘weekend read’ that I will be sending you. It has been such a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside each of you here at Disney and many of you at 21st Century Fox.
“I am so proud of the work we have done together, the friendships we have forged and the consistent success we have celebrated. We have the honor of working in the world’s greatest and most creative industry at a time of enormous change.
“In the midst of this, together we have created amazing and award-winning television shows and I am eternally grateful for your kindness and generosity on the journey. As I depart Disney, may I leave you with a last thought: remain committed to excellence and always recognize that our stories are dependent upon the imagination and artistry of the writers, directors, producers, actors, and craftsman that we have engaged to call Disney home.
“It has been so much fun to collaborate with them to bring their ideas to life. So, while I will no longer be riding along beside you, I wish you happy trails and hope that our paths will cross again.”
Regardless of how he feels about it or the brave face he’s now putting on, Rice the anti-DeSantis executive is out. Perhaps that’s a signal that the company has learned its lesson and is backing off of culture war issues, at least for now, thanks to the ferocity of DeSantis’ response.