Disney pledges to help repeal ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.

Roberto Machado Noa | Light flare | Getty Images

After Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law Monday, the Walt Disney Company condemned the legislation and pledged to help repeal it.

“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 company said in a statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down by the courts, and we remain committed to supporting national and state organizations working to achieve this.”

Disney’s public opposition to the new law comes after CEO Bob Chapek was criticized for not speaking out sooner and more fervently before the bill passed the Florida Senate. Employees staged a strike to protest the company’s lackluster initial response, and Disney has since been rushing to make amends to its staff and the LGBTQA+ community.

Read more: Chapek under pressure after split with predecessor Iger

The company has already pledged to donate $5 million to organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, that work to protect LGTBQ+ rights. Leaders have started talking to employees at town hall meetings about how they can better serve this community in the future.

Pixar employees, in particular, have been vocal in recent weeks, calling on the company to “take a decisive public stance” against the legislation and the like. The company suspended donations in Florida earlier this month and said it would reassess its advocacy strategy going forward.

Additionally, the company reinstated a gay kiss that was cut from the upcoming Pixar movie “Lightyear.” While the relationship between Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and another woman in the film is clear, the kiss was originally removed from the final cut.

“We are committed to defending the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country,” Disney said in its statement Monday.

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