that mouse that roared
Disney released a statement Monday vowing to fight Florida's parental rights in education legislation after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill into law.
"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.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek initially declined to weigh in on the bill but later apologized and promised to be a "stronger ally" moving forward. Last week, Disney employees led a walkout to protest the bill and pressure the company to oppose it.
The bill bans classroom instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade and, for older students, restrict lessons on those topics that are "not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate." It does not ban the word "gay."
"Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that," the statement continues. "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 statement did not elaborate on how the "rights and safety" of Disney employees might be harmed by the bill, but Chapek previously also called it a "challenge to basic human rights."
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' press secretary, immediately condemned Disney's statement on Twitter. "Corporations don't get to veto bills passed by a duly elected state legislature," she wrote. Pushaw said earlier this month that anyone who opposed the bill was "probably a groomer," a term that refers to sexual abusers.