News and Analysis

Marvel Denounces Florida’s So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill; Promise To ‘Proudly Stand With The Community’
Members and supporters of the LGBTQ community attend the "Say Gay Anyway" rally in Miami Beach, Florida on March 13, 2022. - Florida's state senate on March 8 passed a controversial bill banning lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools, a step that critics complain will hurt the LGBTQ community. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Marvel Studios is speaking out against Florida’s controversial HB 1557 “Parental Rights In Education Bill,” which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill despite the measure not including that word in the text.

Marvel’s statement against the bill, which passed the Florida senate Tuesday, echoes what other entertainment corporations including Disney have said publicly about the bill.

“We strongly denounce any and ALL legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community,” the company shared on its official Twitter page. “Marvel Studios stands for hope, inclusivity and strength; and we proudly stand with the community.”

The statement continued, “Today, we pledge to continue our strong commitment as allies who promote the values of equality, acceptance and respect.”

The bill is being called discriminatory and dangerous, however many critics and even news outlets are misrepresenting the provisions within the text. In reality, HB 1557 bans teachers from discussing topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity with students in elementary school from kindergarten until after third grade. It does not ban students from discussing those topics.

Ron DeSantis has signaled that he supports the bill. 

Meanwhile, Disney, which has a large presence in Florida, faced backlash from the bill’s critics for taking so long to denounce its contents. A leaked memo from the company essentially said they were staying out of it. 

The memo said Disney would “unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees,” but “corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds.”

“Instead, they are often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame,” the letter continued. “Simply put, they can be counterproductive and undermine more effective ways to achieve change.”

However, Disney’s attempt to remain neutral didn’t last long. Under mounting pressure, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told shareholders that he called Governor DeSantis (R) to express the company’s “disappointment and concern” over HB 1557.

Chapek said if the bill becomes law it “could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary and transgender kids and families.”

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire reported that spokeswoman Christina Pushaw confirmed Disney had contacted the governor’s office to speak with DeSantis, saying that this is “the first time we have heard from Disney regarding HB 1557.”

“The governor did take the call from Mr. Chapek,” she said. “The governor’s position has not changed. No in-person meeting has been scheduled yet.”

“Disney is known as a family-friendly company that creates wholesome entertainment for kids,” she continued. “The same Florida parents who take their families to Disney also support parental rights in education, because they do not want their young children exposed to inappropriate content about sex and gender theory at school. We expect Mr. Chapek will carefully consider their concerns.”

An exclusive Daily Wire poll found that 63% of Disney’s consumers supported the measures in the bill.

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