Walt Disney World has officially condemned Florida’s new anti-grooming legislation and said it will do its best to fight against the new 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 company said in a Tuesday statement.
Statement from The Walt Disney Company on signing of Florida legislation: pic.twitter.com/UVI7Ko3aKS
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) March 28, 2022
The bill prevents teachers of Florida students aged 5 through 8 from discussing sexuality and gender in the classroom.
“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” the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 continued. “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 company’s sudden shift to opposing the legislation is a stark contrast to CEO Bob Chapek’s vow not to get involved in the political drama.
Asked whether the company had a specific plan for getting the legislation repealed or thrown out in court, Walt Disney World did not return a comment request. Neither did Local 362, a prominent Walt Disney World employee union.
Several Disney employees were arrested for child sex crimes just after HB 1557 passed through the state legislature.
DeSantis celebrated the bill upon its Monday signing.
“Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children,” he said. “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”
The governor’s office is not worried about a tourist boycott of the state, either.
“Last year saw the highest level of domestic tourism in the history of our state,” DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw said in a Monday statement. “In both Q3 and Q4 of 2021, tourism in Florida exceeded the same quarters of 2019 pre-pandemic levels. So Florida is one of the few places in the world where more people are visiting than before the pandemic.
“Many of the tourists in Florida have visited us from states with mandates and restrictions, to enjoy the freedoms and sense of normalcy that Florida has become renowned for, under Governor DeSantis’ leadership,” she continued.
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