Disney’s support of Florida anti-gay bill contradicts their Pride

Despite Disney’s apparent support for the LGBTQ community with Pride merch sold at their parks, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was found to be donating to the supporters of Florida’s anti-gay House Bill 1557, known as the “Parental Rights in Education.”

The bill, which is dubbed as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, would prohibit talks of sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that is not age-appropriate for a students’ parents. With the bill’s vague wording, parents would have the power to limit discussions of things like LGBTQ history. The bill is currently waiting for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signature.

For weeks leading up to the bill’s passage, Disney stayed silent despite Disney World having a prime location in Florida. Not only that, but Chapek was found to have been donating to Republican supporters of the bill, according to the Associated Press. While Disney also donates to Democrats, their donations to Republican politicians, who are actively seeking new ways to discriminate against LGBTQ people and other minorities, says a lot about Disney’s false morals.

In a letter to Disney employees, Chapek apologized for the silence despite people expecting him to be a strong ally in the fight for civil rights. In response to this, some of Disney’s LGBTQ employees staged a protest, which started on Tuesday, until further action is taken on Disney’s part. Parts of the demands include making more inclusive content and all donations and support of anti-gay politicians to stop.

Disney has a history of removing LGBTQ characters and storylines from their stories, mainly from Pixar movies. In a letter from Pixar employees to Chapek, employees claimed that these storylines have been cut before release, according to Variety.

Rainbow capitalism has run rampant in recent years, and this is one of the biggest consequences to it. Like clockwork, every June, Disney and other companies release a line of LGBTQ Pride merch. Disney in particular releases a variety of rainbow Mickey Mouse ears and other clothes marked with Love in rainbow letters. And just as fast as these products make the shelves, as soon as Pride Month is over the products are removed. 

These companies want to have their cake and eat it too. Disney cannot claim to be all about Pride and inclusivity while staying silent to oppression, donating to anti-gay politicians and cutting all traces of LGBTQ storylines in their movies.

Disney is a place where dreams come true, so hopefully the dream of Disney walking the walk comes true.

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Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

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