Minutes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an anti-LGBTQ bill on Monday, Disney released a statement denouncing the law, saying it “as a company is to have this law repealed by the legislature or overturned by the courts.” “Disney employs approximately 80,000 people in the Orlando area.
Labeled by dissidents as “Don’t Say Gay”, the law restricts classroom education on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also gives parents the option to sue a school district if they think the policy has been violated.
Disney this month criticized by many employees. For refusing to take a public stand against the legislation, which led to the company’s chief executive, Bob Chapek, making a series of moves. Mr Chapek broke the company’s silence and Expressed dissent from Disney; apologized repeatedly; stopped political donation pending a review in Florida; and Disney formed a task force to develop a plan of action to be a more positive force for the LGBTQ community, including its content for families. This week, he is going on a listening tour at Disney establishments both at home and abroad.
On March 9, Mr. Chapek told shareholders at Disney’s annual meeting that he had called Mr. DeSantis to “express our disappointment and concern” with the legislation. “The governor heard our concerns and agreed to meet with LGBTQ+ members of me and our senior team in Florida as a way to address them,” he said.
Mr. DeSantis responded defiantly and promptly mocked the company as “Woke Disney” in a fundraising email to supporters. On Monday, when signing the bill, Mr. DeSantis said: “I don’t care what Hollywood says. I don’t care what big companies say. Here I stand. I’m not backing down.”
The hosts of Sunday’s Academy Awards mocked the legislation during their opening stand-up routine.
Disney added on Monday that it is committed to national and state organizations working to overturn the law. “We are committed to advocating for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family and the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country,” the company said.