‘The door is open’: California’s Gavin Newson woos Disney jobs amid controversy over LGBTQ bill
Gavin Newsom. Image via AP.

Gavin Newsom
Could the so-called 'don't say gay' bill cost Florida the Lake Nona campus?

As Disney withers criticism from the left and right over a controversial Florida education bill, California’s Governor offered a solution.

“Disney, the door is open to bring those jobs back to California — the state that actually represents the values of your workers,” tweeted California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The wooing comes less than a year after Disney announced it would relocate more than 2,000 jobs to a new Lake Nona campus. Over the next 18 months, the plan is to shift all Disney Parks and Walt Disney Imagineering jobs not fully dedicated to operations at Disneyland in California. That shift came after California restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic closed theme parks there for 412 days. In contrast, parks closed in Florida for about four months.

But as pandemic restrictions lift nationwide, a different issue has drawn Disney into political headlines.

A controversial bill, dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay bill,” was just passed by the Florida Legislature. Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled his support for the bill.

Disney, which long broadcast support for LGBTQ rights through events like Gay Days, drew fire from the left as corporate leadership remained silent while legislation worked its way through the Legislature.

“Don’t waste this opportunity to leverage your influence and uphold your values as a company to support your cast members, your staff members and their families,” said Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani at the time.

The silence prompted protests at Walt Disney World, the most important theme park in the company’s portfolio.

Eventually, Disney CEO Bob Chapek apologized to employees for staying on the sidelines and reached out to Gov. Ron DeSantis about the bill. But that prompted DeSantis in a news conference to lash out at the company.

“You have companies, like at Disney that are going to say and criticize parents’ rights, they’re going to criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten, in first-grade classrooms,” DeSantis told supporters in Boca Raton.

Shortly after, Disney announced it will pause all political donations in the state of Florida.

“Starting immediately, we are increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states. We are hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values. And today, we are pausing all political donations in the state of Florida pending this review,” Chapek wrote in a company memo.

Spokespeople for the Governor have made clear they will not respond to concerns raised by Disney about the legislation.

“Governor DeSantis’ comments criticizing Disney took place Thursday. Disney announced yesterday (24 hours later) that they would pause all political donations in Florida,” tweeted DeSantis representative Christina Pushaw. “The Governor didn’t say anything in response to that; he doesn’t care.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Tom

    March 13, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    No, not at all.
    You gotta be demented to move to Cali but Disney/ABC is demented. Capek is stupid enough to try. Boot lickers Disney of China.
    Sold out on Top Gun movie over Taiwan.
    Florida is perfect for Disney. Executions in Cali streets, gang crime, robberies in neighborhoods. Extremist left wing socialists.
    There loss.

  • Tom

    March 13, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Really Jacob, the door is open?
    Disney to Cali? You gotta be nuts.
    They can choose, $7.00 gas, runaway inflation, unlimited murder crime, woke a joke district attorney’s, corrupt political establishment, no border security, unlimited taxation through the nose, compared to none in Florida, punitive cost of living. Makes sense. LMAO.

    • Sweating

      March 13, 2022 at 7:19 pm

      Hey man it’s ok.

      I’m sure people will still come to Florida to see swamp and the 3rd best beach lol

  • BForce

    March 13, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    “Weathers…” “…as Disney WEATHERS criticism,” not “withers.” Does no one copy-edit, anymore?

  • Amelia

    March 13, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    Cash making job for evey american to earn and work online. earns more than $15k every month with this home based job.xcv i made $18521 from this job in my spare time afte my college. easy to do job and its regular income are awesome. no skills needed to do this job all you need to know is how to copy and paste stuff online.

    join this today by follow details on this page… 𝘞­­𝘸­­𝘸.𝘓­­𝘪­­𝘷­­𝘦­­𝘑­­𝘰­­𝘣­­2­­4­­7.𝘊­­𝘰­­𝘮

  • Impeach Biden

    March 13, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    I needed a good laugh so thanks Jacob. Disney going to move those jobs to Kalifornia since the state of Florida will banish Kindergarten through Third grade education on gender identity and sexual orientation. We say let kids be kids. Kind of like the Magic Kingdom Park.

    • There’s more

      March 14, 2022 at 7:38 am

      “I needed a good laugh”

      Then go look in the mirror and say

      “I’m an honest person” lol

  • Antonio

    March 13, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Good. Let the pedophiles that oppose HB1557 go to the cesspool that once glorious state has become, they will fit right in.

    • I see

      March 14, 2022 at 6:51 am

      So besides Disneyland what reason Is there to go to Florida?

      To see your grandparents and get chased by people missing teeth?

  • Car

    March 13, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    What person in their right mind would leave a low taxed, constitutional “FREE STATE” to come to a Communist over taxed shithole ran by a egomaniacal tyrant? Probably the same dunces that currently live here and voted for the dictator and his evil edict

    • Freedomb

      March 14, 2022 at 7:36 am

      “Low taxed constitutional FREE STATE”

      If it’s so free why you tell everyone what to do?

      The caps don’t help lol

  • Gonna be great

    March 14, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Can’t wait for the sequel when Mickey Mouse force chokes Ron desantis to death lol

Comments are closed.


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