Disney responds to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill


Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash

The Walt Disney Company responded to the signing of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The company received heavy backlash for its “hypocritical response”.

Gabrielle Knowlan, Photographer and Copy Editor

On March 28, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1557, the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, more controversially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. 

It reads, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students by state standards.” This bill is harmful to many youth, as it prohibits them from talking about their sexual or gender identities in a school setting.

“This bill is detrimental,” junior Iliana Balok explains, “It negatively impacts the LGBTQ+ community and keeps them from exploring their identity.”

After the bill was signed, the Walt Disney Company came out with a statement. 

“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,” the statement reads. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.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 and the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”

“This isn’t the first time Disney has done something like this. They only responded that way to make themselves look good when in reality, their actions show that they don’t support the bill,” junior Emma Nelson said.

This response is extremely hypocritical, as Disney has funded every single sponsor and co-sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. They have also been notorious for their lack of LGBTQ+ representation in their films. Disney’s verbal response means nothing if their actions prove otherwise. The company is currently facing heavy backlash and criticism over this situation. 

“Disney has a huge LGBTQ+ fanbase. It’s disappointing to see the ways they donate their money,” Balok said.

Over 100 Disney employees have taken a stand against Disney’s apathy in the face of the bigoted bill. In both California and Florida, there have been scheduled walkouts during lunch breaks organized on a website called whereischapek.com

Sophomore Elsa Swenson said it is hard to do something in this situation and take a stand against a corporation as big as Disney.

The Walt Disney company should face backlash for its hypocritical response to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. They have donated to Florida state representatives who have directly sponsored the bill and severely misrepresented the LGBTQ+ community in their films. It is important to hold Disney accountable for its actions and protest against this harmful bill.