Protest Breaks Out at Disney After Lack of Response to “Don’t Say Gay Bill”

in Walt Disney World

dont say gay bill protest

Credit: savelgbt

Lately, tensions have been high withing the LGBTQ+ community and their allies in Florida, after Florida’s House of Representatives passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

LGBTQ+ Family on WDW homepage
Credit: Disney World

As noted 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.” Many have been looking to Disney to make a comment on the bill, pulling support to the LGBTQ+ community as well as a portion of their Cast Members who fall within the community. Bob Chapek has been at the forefront of a lot of the backlash from Disney fans for not speaking out on the bill as CEO of the company. President Joe Biden has come out stating that the bill is “hateful” on Twitter, where previous CEO Bob Iger chimed in in agreement.

bob chapek with mickey and minnie
Credit: Disney

When fans saw Iger take a stance and not Chapek, the fury grew stronger. It should be noted, however, that Bob Iger no longer works for the Walt Disney Company and therefore his stance is solely personal and does not affect or represent Disney in anyway. Earlier today, we reporter on The Hollywood Reporter’s breaking story about the inner workings of politics currently going on within Disney in terms of Chapek’s lack of response to the bill.

disney ceo bob chapek with mickey mouse
Credit: Disney

According to insider sources, Chapek is hesitant to take political sides or bring the company to these complex modern-day issues. For example, one source says Chapek balked at a proposal to weigh in on voting rights in the past, “Chapek is staunchly opposed to bringing Disney into issues he deems irrelevant to the company and its businesses,” this person says.

Related: Orlando Theme Park Smacked With Lawsuit After Family Leaves Assaulted

Many have been saddened and disappointed by the company’s silence on this new “Don’t Say Gay” bill, especially since Walt Disney World resides in the home state of the bill. Interestingly, Disney has actually supported those who sponsored the bill. Now, it seems that Disney fans are taking a stance. At the moment, there is an ongoing protest at the gates of Walt Disney World Resort.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Guest Left In Tears After Miracle Dining Experience

Instagram account savelgbt (@savelgbt) has posted multiple photos and videos of an ongoing protest at Walt Disney World. The location is listed as Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but as we can see in video footage, the protest is happening in front of one of the seven Disney World entrances with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse visible on the blue signage in the background.

One post states:

We need Florida corporations to oppose the Don’t Say Gay bill publicly. Today, SAVE is at Disney World with our friends @ahfsouth

Happening now: @disney, don’t delay, please stop funding anti-LGBTQ lawmakers supporting “don’t say gay” – STOP “Don’t Say Gay”

dont say gay bill protest
Credit: savelgbt

Another Instagram caption notes:

#Florida corporations to oppose the Don’t Say Gay bill publicly. Today, #SAVE is at Disney World with our friends @ahfsouth

@disney, don’t delay, please stop funding anti-LGBTQ lawmakers supporting “don’t say gay” – STOP the Don’t Say Gay!

dont say gay bill protest
Credit: savelgbt

From the looks of it, it seems that this peaceful protest is currently ongoing and is promoting the LGBTQ+ community and the cry for Disney to comment on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, or, HB 1557.

More on Disney’s Push For Inclusivity

Lately, we have seen Disney make a huge push in the direction of inclusivity and diversity. The initiative is strung across from their Disney Parks to the Walt Disney Company’s content, from movies to series on Disney+ and theatrical releases.

In September, Disney launched the Reimagine Tomorrow initiate, stating that “We haven’t always got it right.” This came after the Cast Member dress code changed when it came to the “Disney Look,” allowing Cast Members to express themselves more while at work. On top of that, we have already heard of the progress coming along on the new Princess and the Frog attraction that will replace Splash Mountain’s racist undertone scenes due to the Song of the South IP, as well as changing the storyline on both Walt Disney World Resort’s and Disneyland Resort’s Jungle Cruise attraction to ensure cultural appropriation disappears.

mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Park Moves Toward Inclusion, Changes Park Greetings

Disney has also listed out their intentions for this new initiative.

  • To make progress that ensures our workforce reflects the market.
  • To establish inclusion standards across all Disney General Entertainment content. By 2022, 50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from underrepresented groups.
  • Over $100M Charitable Giving to programs serving underrepresented communities (Fiscal Year 2020). To ensure we direct more than 50% of our annual charitable giving to programs serving underrepresented communities.
  • To put the responsibility for an inclusive culture in the hands of our leaders and employees through comprehensive education and engagement efforts.

The recent efforts made by Disney is likely the reason many are surprised no statement has been made as of yet.

What do you think about Disney’s silence on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill?

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