Moments after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an anti-LGBTQ bill on Monday, Disney released a statement condemning it, saying it’s “the goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or by the courts.” destroyed”. † Disney employs approximately 80,000 people in the Orlando area.
Labeled as “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents, the law restricts classroom education about sexual orientation and gender identity. It also gives parents the option to sue a school district if they believe the policy has been violated.
This month, Disney was criticized by many of its employees for refusing to take a public stance against the legislation, leading to a series of moves from the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek. Mr. Chapek broke the company’s silence and expressed opposition to Disney; apologized repeatedly; paused political giving in Florida pending review; and created a task force to develop an action plan for Disney to be a more positive force for the LGBTQ community, including through its content for families. This week he is going on a listening tour of Disney workplaces 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” about the bill. “The governor heard our concerns and agreed to meet with me and LGBTQ+ members of our Florida senior team as a way to address them,” he said.
Mr. DeSantis reacted defiantly, promptly mocking the company as “Woke Disney” in an email raising funds for supporters. On Monday, when he signed the bill, Mr. DeSantis: “I don’t care what Hollywood says. I don’t care what big companies say. Here I stand. I don’t flinch.”
The hosts of the Academy Awards on Sunday joked about the legislation during their opening stand-up routine.
In its statement on Monday, Disney added that it is committed to the national and state organizations working to overturn the law. “We are committed to championing the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family,” the company said, “as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”