The Walt Disney Company reacted Monday to news that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had signed a bill banning sexual orientation or gender identity discussions for young kids, saying the bill should “never have passed.”
“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 Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” a Disney spokesman told The Daily Wire.
“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.”
Disney did not immediately respond to further requests from The Daily Wire regarding a letter from Disney employees detailing a hostile work environment for conservatives.
“The company’s evolving response to the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation in Florida has left many of us wondering what place we have in a company actively promoting a political agenda so far removed from our own,” the letter said. “TWDC leadership frequently communicates its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace where cast members feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and being their authentic selves at work. That is not our workplace experience.”
Florida’s HB 1447 states that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Students in kindergarten are typically five years old, while third graders generally are eight or nine years old.
The bill has been wildly misrepresented as “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, though nowhere in the legislation is the word “gay” mentioned.
The word “parent” is mentioned 32 times and the word “parental” is mentioned eight times, and the legislation heavily focuses on parental notification and parental awareness of what children are being taught or exposed to in school.
DeSantis said Monday that parents have a “fundamental” role in the education, upbringing, and healthcare of their children, insisting that he will never cave to pressure from outside groups like Disney.
While some critics of the Parents Rights in Education bill have not read the legislation, DeSantis said, “leftist politicians, corporate media outlets, some of these activist groups, they actually have read the bill.”
“And they are sloganeering because they don’t want to admit that they support a lot of the things we are providing protections against,” he said.
For example, they support sexualizing kids in kindergarten. They support injecting woke gender ideology into second grade classrooms. They support enabling schools to “transition students” to a “different gender” without the knowledge of the parent much less without the parents consent. What they are doing with these slogans and these narratives, they are trying to camoflauge their true intentions.
Leftist activists know that Americans overwhelmingly oppose indoctrinating children with sexual or gender ideology, DeSantis said, pointing to polling, like that done by outlets like the The Daily Wire and Politico, that showed most Americans don’t want gender identity being taught in schools.
“Someone told me that there’s even people in Hollywood that are opposed to providing protections for parents and enforcing parents rights,” he added. “The one thing I’ll say about that: the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars, if those are the types of people opposing us on parents rights, I wear that like a badge of honor.”