Walt Disney Co. Calls for Repeal of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill – Los Angeles

The day Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis signed a bill restricting instruction about sexual orientation in the early grades of his state. The Walt Disney Company, Burbank-based Monday condemned the legislation and demanded its repeal.

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the `Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” according to a statement issued by Disney.

“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We will continue to fight for the safety and rights of LGBTQ+ Disney family members, as well as LGBTQ+ communities in Florida and around the country.

Although the legislation was originally called the Parental rights in Education bill, it has been denounced as the LGBTQ+ community’s. “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Republican DeSantis has defended the legislation by stating that it “showed a commitment to education, not to indoctrination.” On Monday, he said, “We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination.”

After statements made last Tuesday in support of the LGBTQ+ community, Disney’s Monday comments were the second in a row. They followed statements by company employees about the initial Disney response to Florida’s Florida legislation.

Last week, various media divisions of Disney posted public statements in support  of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, storytellers, families, friends and fans who are targeted by laws that marginalize and diminish their identities and lives,” a Twitter post by Disney-owned Hulu said. “We remain committed to telling inclusive stories that unite us and celebrate the diverse LGBTQIA+ community.”

Last week, an official Disneyland Instagram account posted a statement reading: “To ALL who come to this happy place, welcome.”

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products are committed to creating family-friendly experiences for all families. They will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We oppose any legislation that infringes on basic human rights, and stand in solidarity and support our LGBTQIA+ cast, crew and imagineers and fans who make their voices heard today and every day.”

Similar messages were posted to Disney+ and Walt Disney World social media accounts, ESPN and FX Networks — all Disney owned. 

These messages were sent on the same day that some Disney employees participated in a nationwide worker strike. Hundreds of protesters marched along the streets outside Disney’s Burbank headquarters, while similar events were planned at other Disney properties. 

Disney and Bob Chapek, its CEO, were under fire from critics for their initial silence about Florida legislation. 

A letter to which a letter was attributed “members of the LGBTQIA+ community”All

Disney and Disney owned entities were posted online earlier in the month to state the company’s reaction to the bill “utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation.”

“Primarily, those statements have indicated that leadership still does not truly understand the impact this legislation is having not only on cast members in the state of Florida, but on all members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the company and beyond,” the letter states.

Chapek, who apologized to the LGBTQ+ Community this month, acknowledged the “pain, frustration and sadness over the company’s response”To the bill.

“Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was,” Chapek said in the statement. “It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”  

He said that the company was open for business immediately. “increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states,”It was announced that Disney was “pausing all political donations in the state of Florida.”

“I truly believe we are an infinitely better and stronger company because of our LGBTQ+ community,” Chapek wrote. “I missed the mark in this case but am an ally you can count on — and I will be an outspoken champion for the protections, visibility, and opportunity you deserve.”

The walkout organizers pointed out that Disney is currently moving approximately 2,000 workers from California into a new Florida facility — home to Walt Disney World Resort. 

“We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Florida, who will be directly harmed by this new law and yet still required to perform their duties for a company that not only failed to prevent, but also tacitly funded it,”According to the letter from the group. “This becomes especially concerning when you consider that TWDC is requiring even more employees to work and live in Florida, making even more cast members targets for this hateful law.”


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