Disney pledges to help repeal Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill
( Hill )
Disney has pledged to help repeal Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which was signed into law on Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
The Walt Disney Company issued a statement shortly after the bill was signed on Monday that said, "Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law."
"Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that," the spokesperson said.
"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," the spokesperson added.
The bill is set to go into effect on July 1 and will prohibit primary school teachers from classroom instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity, while educators of all grade levels will be prohibited from instruction on those topics that is not “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate” for their students.
Disney has previously received flak for its stance on the bill. CEO Bob Chapek apologized for remaining silent on the anti-LGBTQ bill, facing criticism from the company's rank and file.
“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down,” Chapek said. “I am sorry.”
Chapek also vowed that Disney would donate $5 million to the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQ rights organizations at a shareholders meeting this month, and said he would meet with DeSantis to discuss Disney’s "concerns" about the legislation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He also said the company would be pausing political donations in Florida and further supporting efforts to fight against similar legislation being introduced elsewhere.
DeSantis previously brushed off criticism from Chapek over the bill, calling the company “woke.”