Gabrielle Union at Women of the Year celebration

Gabrielle Union Torches Disney for Their Response to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Union called out the company while walking the red carpet for Disney's 'Cheaper by the Dozen' remake.

Gabrielle Union has never shied away from speaking truth to power, especially when it comes to the companies that employ her. The Being Mary Jane star was doing red carpet press for her latest film, a remake of Cheaper by the Dozen for Disney+, when she called out the company for their involvement with Florida’s cruel “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The company came under fire for donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the writers and supporters of the virulently homophobic and transphobic legislation. Disney CEO Bob Chapek delivered a half-hearted response, which was roundly rejected by irate Disney employees who spent the past week staging protests and walkouts.

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When asked if she was shocked by Disneys’ involvement, Union said, “I don’t want to say shock because hatred doesn’t shock me at this point. I’ve been a black woman in America since ’72. Nothing shocks me, but the fear that gripped me because I know what this leads to.” She went on, “Every moment in history, there has been this moment. We know how this ends. We know where hate and oppression lead. And it can start now with the LGBTQIA community, but if you think that it’s just a them problem, oh baby, you’re next.”

“There are so many states that are following suit [with Florida’s legislation], because there is no pushback, because no one in positions of power [or] corporations are taking a hard stance,” Union added. “Let’s look who’s donating to what and let’s call people out… I think a lot of people like to confuse accountability and consequences for cancel culture. And as long as you have a microphone and a stage that’s not cancel culture, honey … We have to campaign and fund for those people who stand for all of us.”

Union continued, “If you’re going to take a stand and be all about diversity and inclusion — and it’s not just about black boxes after George Floyd died — you need to actually put your money where your mouth is … You can’t stand against hate and oppression and fund hate and oppression. That doesn’t work. Obviously, our family has a big spotlight. My child is one child. There are countless children who deserve peace and the ability to survive and thrive in this world, just like everybody else. And if you think that your kid isn’t next, you are so sadly mistaken.”

Union, who is the stepmother of her trans daughter Zaya, has long been vocal about her support for the LGBTQ+ community. “If you have to see my child for that to be to be the difference maker, that’s not enough. There’s a lot of kids out there, not just famous ones.”

(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour)

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Author
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.