Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law at School Causes Turmoil at Disney World

UNITED STATES – After being accused of censoring a kiss between a same-sex couple in Buzz Lightning, Disney is in turmoil again. In the US, employees of the entertainment giant demonstrated this week against the group’s “apathy” following the passage of a controversial Florida law banning the teaching of sexual orientation in public schools.

The trouble began with an internal memo sent March 7 by Bob Chapek, CEO of the company that employs more than 75,000 people at Disney World in Orlando, one of the most visited in the world.

After meeting with employees belonging to the LGBT+ community, the leader said he doubted Disney would oppose the Florida law, according to a document cited by several local media outlets.

US conservative offensive

He argued that corporate communications “do very little to change things or attitudes” and are instead “often used by one side or the other as a weapon of division.”

These statements, seen as a lack of support for the LGBT+ community, sparked a flurry of criticism, and calls for a boycott began to circulate on social media.

Among the harshest critics was Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy Disney, who co-founded the company with her brother Walt. “Many LGBTQI people and their allies work for or seek support from Disney,” the activist and documentary maker tweeted. “But Čapek is more concerned about right-wing backlash than his loyal supporters and collaborators.”

The law, dubbed “Don’t Talk Gay” by its detractors, bans teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation with their students from the time they enter kindergarten until they are eight years old.

Its critics say the text harms LGBT+ youth and parents and is part of a conservative offensive that has been waged for months by the Republican Party, which controls this state in the southeastern United States.

The Disney boss tried to quickly end the dispute. On March 9, at the AGM, he announced Disney’s $5 million donation to pro-LGBT+ groups.

He also said he called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to express the company’s “frustration and concern” about the law, which “could be used to unfairly target gays, lesbians, non-gay children and families.” Angeles Times.

Wasted effort. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest advocacy organization for the LGBT+ community, said it would refrain from donating to Disney until the company takes action to prevent further drafts of similar texts, which in Florida would “become dangerous laws.” “.

And employees of LGBT+ animation studio Pixar, a subsidiary of Disney, published a letter in the magazine. diversity denounce the fact that “nearly every moment of overt homosexual affection” in their work is “cut at the request” of the entertainment giant.

Suspension of all Disney political donations in Florida

The controversy escalated further when the media reported that several Florida Republican elected officials who favored the controversial law had received donations from Disney.

Bob Chapek announced last Friday that he was suspending all political donations from Disney to Florida until further notice. But the move didn’t convince the LGBT+ Disney employee group that called for protests this week.

In a text posted online, they demanded a permanent halt to donations to elected officials involved in passing the law in Florida and criticized the “apathy” of the group’s leadership.

“Disney’s recent statements and inaction with respect to this law are inconsistent with the magnitude of the security threat to the LGBTQIA+ community that this law poses,” the statement said. “Disney must reaffirm the company’s commitment to protecting its LGBT+ employees, even in the face of political risk,” he adds.

Therefore, the employees decided to protest every day during the break. The movement will culminate on Tuesday with a strike by LGBT+ workers and their supporters across the country.

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