The Walt Disney Company released a statement today after Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida legislation dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. In the statement released by a Disney spokesperson, it says that Disney will work to repeal this law either through legislative means or through the courts. Here is the full 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. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.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.”
The strong statement comes after Disney remained mostly silent until this legislation had been passed by the legislature and then sent to the Governor for signing. Disney received lots of criticism for not taking a stronger stance against the legislation earlier. Disney also received flack for financially supporting legislators who supported the bill.
Recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has offered an apology to Disney cast members and pledged his support for the LGBTQ+ community. This is being followed by a listening tour by Disney executives to listen to cast members and learn from them.
Disney is the largest single employer in Florida, mainly through its cast members at the Walt Disney World Resort. Currently, the company is in process of moving other positions from its Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division to Florida as well. How this is resolved could impact the future relationship between Disney and the state in the coming years.