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Florida sex-ed law causes strife at Disney

Nicholas Maldonado participates in a small walkout at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday. Associated Press/Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack

Florida sex-ed law causes strife at Disney

Disney employees throughout the United States threatened to walk out on Tuesday, claiming CEO Bob Chapek did not respond quickly enough against a recent Florida bill that bans sexual orientation instruction for kindergarten students up to third grade. But the demonstrations were mostly limited to a few hundred workers at Disney offices in Burbank, Calif., and Hollywood stars who shared support on social media. Union leaders of employees at Disney’s theme parks advised members not to walk out because it would violate contract obligations. Disney employs 75,000 workers in Florida alone.

What is the protest about? Opponents have labeled the Parental Rights in Education bill the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and said it demonizes LGBTQ people. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign the bill soon, criticized Chapek for bending to cancel culture by pulling political contributions in the state. Employees said Chapek should have acted earlier against the bill. He apologized for not publicly condemning it before it passed the state legislature. This isn’t the first time Disney has been embroiled in political controversy. In 2016, Disney threatened to boycott businesses in Georgia over a religious liberty bill that allowed officials to refuse to marry same-sex couples. And Disney refused to apologize in 2020 for filming scenes from Mulan in a region of China where Uyghur Muslims are being abused. The movie thanked the Chinese Communist Party in the credits.

Dig deeper: Read Jerry Bowyer’s article in WORLD Opinions about what he saw at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this month.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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