UPDATED: Walt Disney Company facing internal pressure over Florida's "don't say gay" bill

Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2022 10:27 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney employees are showing their outrage over the entertainment company's decision not to denounce Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would limit discussion of sexuality and gender in Florida schools. According to the accountability news site Popular Information, "in the last two years, Disney has donated $197,162 to members of the Florida legislature that have already voted for the 'Don't Say Gay' legislation," including to sponsors of the bill, Florida Rep. Joe Harding (R) and state Sen. Dennis Baxley (R).

Read more from NPR.

UPDATE (21:00 Eastern): CEO Bob Chapek intends to schedule a meeting with DeSantis, and the company committed $5 million to the Human Rights Campaign. Read more from The New York Times.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 10:49 AM
Jeff's avatar

There's an interesting thing going on in the United States where companies aren't just being forced to reckon with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies, but also a broader statement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies. Employees, investors and customers are actually starting to watch how companies behave, which is good since the law decided that companies are people and can pour money into the political system. The new proxy isn't just elected people, it's the corporations that ultimately play a part in funding their campaigns. We've seen an extreme example of this in the way companies are abandoning Russia, but this story is an example of how there's an expectation to do the right thing.

That said, it is disappointing that Disney hasn't taken a position against the state. It has a lot of weight to throw around, and on fundamental issues of basic human respect like this, its silence is not great.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 11:16 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

This bill is gross. Disney's response is gross.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 12:44 PM
OhioStater's avatar

New for 2023: Celebrate the American Adventure in EPCOT at the new Chick-Fil-A.


Promoter of fog.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 1:14 PM

What about the bill do you think is gross?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 1:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

You mean other than the part that pretends that LGBTQ people don't exist?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 2:22 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

It's gross because it panders to homophobic parents.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 2:24 PM

More like insists.
I was listening to SiriusXM 124, POTUS politics and the host was Dan Abrams. A point was made how this bill and its proponents are hiding behind language- they insist that nowhere in the bill does the word “gay” appear. (Yeah, right? Makes sense to me…)
They claim that the bill only strives to keep discussions about sexuality and orientation (and any resulting education) out of the classroom and moves it to the home, where they say it should be.
Furthermore, should a student of any age come out to an educator or get caught expressing something other than heterosexuality, that faculty member is bound to report the student to the principle who in turn is bound to contact the students parents.
This is horrifying in a number of ways. It pushes students trying to determine who they are back into the proverbial closet and promotes a culture of bullying. Many times school is the only place a student feels comfortable and safe coming out, and teachers are educated and trained in how to handle those matters. The home is quite often the source of bullying, mistreatment, and denial, not a place of acceptance.
Who are so clearly left out of the equation are LGBTQ+ parents, students, and educators. They have every right to expect equal and fair treatment should they need help, guidance, or protection within the school system. It’s not right.
And that, PointMan, is why the bill is gross.
I shudder to think what will happen if Ron DeSantis makes a successful run at the presidency.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 2:59 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

The amendment that would have required educators to out kids to their parents was removed.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 3:08 PM
Jeff's avatar

There is similar legislation, which I call the "white fragility" bill, that prohibits any talk of race that makes people uncomfortable. Because if you don't talk about racism, it doesn't exist, right? If talking about racism makes you uncomfortable as a white person, imagine how a person of color must feel when it affects virtually every part of their daily lives.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 3:20 PM

eightdotthree, thanks for that information, I didn’t know.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 3:21 PM

RCMAC said:

A point was made how this bill and its proponents are hiding behind language- they insist that nowhere in the bill does the word “gay” appear.

Supporters of the bill are also framing it as a means of keeping grooming behavior by pedophiles out of schools. And, thus, if you are against the bill, you are pro-pedophile. Somewhere in Texas, Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick are seething because they didn't think of this first.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 3:30 PM

My daughter, who attends the largest public high school in the state, participated in a walk-out this morning. 3,000+ kids.

I see both side of this issue. I would prefer my kids aren't taught about sexuality in K-3. That said, we introduced our children to gay friends, couples of mix race, etc, very early in their lives so they wouldn't have heard something at school they didn't likely first hear from us.

But, the idea that a K-3rd grader could bring up their "two moms" or "two dads" and that somehow now sets off red flags in the classroom is absurd. It is obvious what DeSantis and like minded Governors have been doing. The are looking for these fringe conservative issues to score political points with. That bothers me...but not as much as the number of people who are buying this nonsense bothers me.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 3:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

And that's the thing... most of this nonsense will not withstand the courts as it's obviously unconstitutional, but it fans the fake outrage of people who are worried that the people they don't like or understand may someday have the same equal footing as them.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 3:39 PM

The injunction against the investigative side of the Texas anti-transgender order from a few weeks that treats parents the same as if they were beating their children shows me that these bills have a long fight ahead of them in court.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 5:04 PM

Apparently Chapek heard the criticism. He claim to have called the Governor to oppose the bill. He also claims that Disney will be making a $5 million donation to the Human Rights Campaign...and that the Governor has agreed to meet with Chapek and cast members representing the LGBTQ community.

It may be too little too late...but I guess it's something.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 5:14 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

wahoo skipper said:
I would prefer my kids aren't taught about sexuality in K-3.

It's not clear to me that this is actually happening or if this what the fringe of the party thinks is happening.

wahoo skipper said:
They are looking for these fringe conservative issues to score political points with. That bothers me...but not as much as the number of people who are buying this nonsense bothers me.

100%. See above.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 11:13 PM
bjames's avatar

As a gay man and an independent voter, I have no issues with this bill and I view the "don't say gay" framing of it as disingenuous, put forth by the overwhelmingly liberal LGBT lobby (which I don't support and which doesn't speak for me), and parroted by their partners in the media. Who here that opposes it has actually read the content of the final bill, as passed?

Don't trust the media, don't trust activists, cut out the middle man and do your own research before you form an opinion. This is a perfect example of why politics in our country these days sucks. Everyone's lazy and they get all their opinions from a*holes waving signs around or spouting off on cable news.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Thursday, March 10, 2022 6:33 AM

bjames said:

...I view the "don't say gay" framing of it as disingenuous...

No more so than the actual title of the legislation, "Parental Rights in Education".

Who here that opposes it has actually read the content of the final bill, as passed?

This legislation (and others recently proposed in places like Texas) is carefully crafted in a way that Very Smart People can point to the "as passed" text of the bill and say things like "if you actually read it, nothing in it is that outrageous". This, of course, misses the intention of the legislation, which is to create a chilling effect on educators so that uncomfortable topics like sexuality or racism or whatever aren't even mentioned in schools, for fear of being sued (7-b, paragraph 2).


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