““For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and that they are going to actively work to repeal it, I think one was fundamentally dishonest, but two, I think that crossed the line.””
That was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticizing the Walt Disney Company
for denouncing H.B. 1557, titled “Parental Rights in Education,” informally known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The bill forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, a policy that has drawn intense national scrutiny from those who argue it marginalizes LGBTQ+ people — DeSantis signed the bill into law on Monday.
“We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” DeSantis said before he signed the bill into law.
A Disney spokesperson issued this statement following the signing of the bill:
“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 Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. 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.”
Disney, which employs 70,000 people in Florida with the company’s popular resort and theme parks, is an active political donor. Disney donated $4.8 million to Florida candidates in the 2020 elections, according to campaign records analyzed by Politico.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement that the company will soon be “reassessing our advocacy strategies around the world—including political giving.”