Opinion | Florida Lawmakers Advance Homophobia to DeSantis’s Desk

That’s a question for a different kind of expert. But one sure thing, as the history of storytelling demonstrates over and over, is that storytellers will use every medium available to tell their stories. And audiences will always want stories. The building blocks may shift. The medium may change. But stories go on and on.

Lovely: The debate over the future of cryptocurrency and what regulation is needed for the nascent industry got an important and thoughtful boost with the executive order by President Biden this week. In a measured report that weighed the risks and the benefits, Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets directs a range of federal government agencies to study digital currencies and recommend new regulations and policies.

It’s a big deal for the next generation of the digital age, known as web3, which encompasses everything from cryptocurrency to NFTs to the metaverse, because it has essentially been made legit by the president’s order and might bring in more people who have been waiting on the sidelines. In other words, much like when the internet broke through in the 1990s, the White House has declared it’s time to jump into the crypto pool. One of the more intriguing ideas is for a digital version of the dollar — and like clockwork, Senator Ted Cruz had his usual dumb, reactionary hot take via tweet on what is a complex and developing issue.

Loathsome: Speaking of the Florida bill, I have to pick on the flip-flopping of Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who has shown himself to be persistently ham-handed on issues (see: ScarJo streaming debacle). With 80,000 employees in Florida, Disney is a powerful force there politically, but Chapek inexplicably felt he did not have clout and seemed to say in a memo that he was not explicitly against the bill for all kinds of odd and complex reasons. Chapek “botched an internal email to Disney employees,” as the Times wrote. “He was seeking to explain Disney’s public silence on anti-LGBTQ legislation in Florida that activists have labeled the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. Instead, Mr. Chapek’s nearly 1,000-word memo poured gasoline on the fire, and the hashtag #boycottDisney was soon trending on social media.”

That is not a hashtag you want out there when you make charming movies like “Encanto” (which is now playing on an endless Bruno… no… no… loop in my house, by the way). Then, at a shareholder meeting, Chapek stepped back and said he was against the bill. “While we’ve been strong supporters of the community for decades, I know that many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill,” said Chapek, who said he also spoke to DeSantis. “We were opposed to the bill from the outset, and we chose not to take a public position because we felt we could be more effective working behind the scenes directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”

oof, especially as it came after Chapek’s immediate predecessor, the much-respected Disney CEO Bob Iger, tweeted his opposition to the bill on Twitter. That’s called leadership, which Iger, who vacated his chairmanship in December, talked about eloquently in a recent live Disney exit interview I did with him on Sway.

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