The Walt Disney Company is in a lot of hot water at the moment, with their stance (or lack thereof) on Florida’s new bill being a point of contention within not just the Disney community, but all of the social media.
Known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”, this piece of legislation is as simple as the title. As stated by NPR, “The legislation prohibits any instruction about sexuality or gender between kindergarten and third grade, or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Disney now preaches inclusivity within its Parks, movies, entertainment, and advertisement, so it may come as a surprise that the company has actually helped to fund supporters of this “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The Senate sponsor, Ocala Republican Dennis Baxley, has actually backed anti-gay legislation in Florida for years. Baxley once compared kids with same-sex parents to kids raised by alcoholics and abusers, saying: “I’m not phobic, but I simply can’t affirm homosexuality.”
Disney has given money to sponsors and co-sponsor of this “Don’t Say Gay” bill, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The somewhat mixed signal of going out of your way to spread the message of inclusivity while also standing behind a bill that could potentially affect thousands of already at-risk youth is somewhat of a head-scratcher for even the most loyal Disney fans.
The next year, The Walt Disney Company wrote Baxley a check, with the most recent one coming in last year.
With Bob Chapek delivering what was to some, a less-than-desirable response to this issue, Abigail Disney, daughter of Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney’s Nephew has now shared her opinion on the company’s stance regarding this hot-button issue. In a fairly harsh tweet, Abigail Disney (@abigaildisney) calls the company “complicit” with this new bill. See the full tweet below:
Again, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you write a check to a politician you are not neutral. If you write several checks to several of them you are complicit. There’s no hiding from this one.
Again, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you write a check to a politician you are not neutral. If you write several checks to several of them you are complicit. There’s no hiding from this one. https://t.co/G79eYwH5kA
— Abigail Disney (@abigaildisney) March 8, 2022
Abigail Disney has made it very publicly known how she feels with the current leadership of The Walt Disney Company, claiming Guests and Cast Members are being exploited. In recent years, The Walt Disney Company has made great strides in making all its products and experiences more inclusive and welcoming to all people groups, however, one representation is becoming a big focal point for all companies across the world and Disney Guests have surely noticed a lot of changes, especially within the Disney Parks.
As for the decision not to release a statement, Chapek told staff, “I do not want anyone to mistake a lack of a statement for a lack of support. As we have seen time and again, corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds,” Chapek added. “Instead, they are often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame. Simply put, they can be counterproductive and undermine more effective ways to achieve change.”
It is interesting, however, with so much representation coming into the Parks, how The Walt Disney Company has not taken a stance on this new bill which some fear will hurt thousands of LGBTQ youth. See Chapek’s full statement to staff here.
How do you feel about Disney’s response? Let us know in the comments below.
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