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Disney Pledges to Repeal ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law They Already Funded

The Mouse House previously donated money to supporters and sponsors of Florida’s homophobic bill.
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What a difference public outcry, employee walkouts, and a full-tilt PR crisis makes. Disney has issued a formal statement in response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The statement reads, “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.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 are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”

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What Disney fails to mention in their statement is the fact that, only weeks ago, they were donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the supporters and authors of the deeply homophobic and disturbing bill. When the company was slammed for supporting the cruel legislation, CEO Bob Chapek tried (and failed) to stay neutral on the issue, offering support via “inspiring content” as opposed to, you know, actually supporting LGBTQ+ rights. The fallout came fast, with queer employees and allies issuing letters of protest and condemnation, and a planned series of walkouts. Celebrities like Gabrielle Union also spoke out against Disney for their support of the bill.

After releasing their statement, many responded to Disney on social media to call them out for their hypocrisy.

DeSantis responded to the statement saying, “Corporate executives do not run this state … If we would’ve put in the bill that you are not allowed to discuss the oppression of the Uyghurs in China, Disney would’ve endorsed that in a second.” DeSantis is referring to the controversy over Disney’s Mulan, which was filmed in China’s Xinjiang province, where Uighur Muslim concentration camps are located.

DeSantis also calls out Disney for its hypocrisy in silently supporting the bill until the public outcry began. I detest agreeing with DeSantis on anything, but he’s not wrong here. Time will tell whether Disney will actively support LGBTQ+ rights legislation in the future, or if they will wait for the controversy to die down before going back to business as usual.

(image: Disney)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.