Disney Channel icon Raven-Symoné, star of That’s So Raven as well as the spinoff series Raven’s Home has recently made it clear, along with fellow members of the cast and crew, how she feels about the controversial new Florida legislation.
As reported by USA Today, the Disney icon recently joined various cast and crew members in protesting the new “DOn’t Say Gay” bill coming out of Florida. This bill has seen the Walt Disney Company surrounded by controversy and backlash ever since Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s infamous memo, in which he stated the company should remain neutral.
This plan backfired, swirling the company up into unprecedented criticism from employees and the entire Disney community as a whole. Eventually, Chapek pledged $5 million to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) but they rejected the donation, citing the need to see more “meaningful change”.
We recently saw a company-wide walkout where hundreds of Disney employees publicly protested the bill. Now, Raven-Symoné and her castmates are speaking out about the bill as well, which on Tuesday Gov. Ron DeSantis said he plans to sign into law “soon”. 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.”
LGBTQ rights organizations say the Parental Rights in Education bill could discriminate against gay and transgender individuals and cause a chilling effect against students even discussing their LGBTQ families. “In support of our LGBTQ+ family and all of those who will be damaged by the ‘don’t say gay bill’ we the cast of ‘Raven’s Home’ are walking out,” Symoné wrote in the caption of a recently-published Instagram post, “In today’s world it is imperative that we take stands, show support, and move forward not backwards.”
Symoné, who married her wife Miranda Pearman-Maday in 2020 is herself part of the LGBTQ+ community, making the new legislation that much more personal.
Disney 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.”
The next year, The Walt Disney Company wrote Baxley a check, with the most recent one coming in last year. While Chapek and Co. have all made it clear how they feel about the bill, the future is still uncertain in regards to the Walt Disney Company’s image and reputation going forward.
How do you feel about Disney’s stance on this bill? Let us know in the comments below.