As Gov. DeSantis signs controversial parental rights law, Disney pushes for repeal

The Walt Disney Company
'Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the Legislature or struck down in the courts.'

The Walt Disney Company vowed to fight to repeal the “Parental Rights in Education” legislation — a measure critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — as Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial measure into law Monday.

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Bill,’ should never have been passed and should never have been signed into law,” Disney said in a statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the Legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”

Disney is one of the state’s largest employers and carries political weight in the Legislature, making donations to both Republicans and Democrats.

But Disney has been under fire for not taking a stronger stance against the controversial bill as it progressed through Tallahassee.

Disney faced criticism from employees, and some walked off their jobs last week.

During Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, as Disney celebrated winning Best Animated Film for “Encanto,” the issue was fodder for jokes by the Oscar hosts.

“We’re going to have a great night tonight,” co-host Wanda Sykes said. “And for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night.”

The bill, which many accuse as being vague, prohibits discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools up to the third grade and limits it to “age-appropriate” discussions for other students.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek told shareholders the reason Disney had remained quiet was because the company was quietly lobbying behind the scenes with legislators.

“I understand our original approach, no matter how well intended, didn’t quite get the job done,” Chapek said earlier this month.

Chapek announced the company was going to pause making political donations in Florida and reevaluate how it gives money in the wake of critics who pointed out Disney made prior financial donations to legislators who sponsored the bill. Critics pressured Disney given the company’s long history of sponsoring Gay Days at theme parks and being a leader in providing health benefits to same sex couples since the 1990s.

Chapek apologized to Disney employees in a memo, promising to do more.

“We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBT+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBT+ community in Florida and across the country,” Disney said in the rest of its statement released Monday.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Antonio

    March 28, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    So basically Disney supports sexually grooming little kids without their parents knowledge.

    • Yes you

      March 28, 2022 at 8:17 pm

      Sounds like the parents can’t even draw a circle and are not good parents either lol

      • Antonio

        March 28, 2022 at 9:06 pm

        LOL….So you have nothing. The intellectually weak always resort to insults.

        • Right in the Washington.

          March 28, 2022 at 9:44 pm

          “So you have nothing”

          I’m already winning . You have a old angry gov who’s probably gonna get boycotted by everyone and he’s pushing away his main draw to a state that’s literally only known for Mickey Mouse and retired grandparents

          Hit him right In The money lol

          • Antonio

            March 28, 2022 at 10:41 pm

            The thousands of new Florida citizens that moved here because of Desantis policies will disagree with you. But keep proving my point of your intellectual weakness by the continued insults and banal retorts.

          • just sayin

            March 29, 2022 at 11:27 am

            “Old” Governor? He’s literally half the age of Joe Biden.

    • That’s why

      March 29, 2022 at 12:13 am

      “Thousand new Florida citizens”

      So what? What’s that gotta do with harming your own tourism industry.

      See why the world thinks you all live in trailers and play banjos outside of Disneyland and you all work there? Lol

      • just sayin

        March 29, 2022 at 11:26 am

        Do you see the inherent contradiction in your post? “It doesn’t matter if thousands of people move here everyday, I’m talking about your tourism industry” followed immediately by “nobody cares about Florida except for the tourism industry.”

        And nice casual racism with the banjos remark, btw. Of course, you’re probably too ignorant to realize it was invented and popularized by African-Americans originally.

        • Global empire vs

          March 30, 2022 at 1:16 pm

          “Don’t you see the contraindication in your post”

          No I don’t because Florida is still a “free state” “still Stuck in the confederacy”

          That needs tourism. Your other industries aren’t nothing. No one would even buy mask from you lol

    • Concern Citizen

      March 31, 2022 at 10:32 am

      Grooming??? Obviously, you don’t know what grooming is. Your comment is false.

  • jordan kipling

    March 28, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    So Disney is the evil -sick -twisted corporation just like I thought.
    Meeting expectations.

    • They are better at it

      March 28, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      You always had low expectations
      Living standards

      You know what? Disney has more then Florida. I’ll just be out with that lol

Comments are closed.


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