MIKE SCHNEIDER – Associated Press
Orlando, Florida (AP) – Disney workers plan to go out during breaks every day this week to protest CEO Bob Chapek’s slow response to public criticism of Florida law, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Tell Gays” bill.
The protest will end next Tuesday with a general outing of LGBTQ staff and their supporters at Disney workplaces in California, Florida and elsewhere, a group of Disney staff said this week on their website.
Organizers have asked Disney staff to check online for their plans to take part in a full-scale walk next week. “We need to make sure we have enough to be successful,” they said.
Disney’s statements about Florida law “do not quite match the magnitude of the LGBTQ + security threat posed by the law,” the group said.
Account bars instructions on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten up to 3rd grade. Republican lawmakers who promoted the law argued that parents, not teachers, should talk to their children about gender issues in the early years of their formation. Legislation attracted attention from President Joe Biden, who called it “hateful,” and other Democrats who say it demonizes LGBTQ.
The bill was sent to Florida Gov. by Republican Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it.
As the state’s largest private sector employer – Walt Disney World outside of Orlando had more than 75,000 employees before the coronavirus pandemic – Disney contributed huge sums of money to Florida political parties and politicians and had an incredible impact on the state government.
Early last week, Chapek sent a message to Disney staff reaffirming the company’s support for LGBTQ rights, but also said that corporate statements often do not promote a change of opinion and can be “armed” by either party.
Instead of making an early public statement against the legislation, company officials worked behind the scenes with Florida lawmakers “to achieve the best result,” but they were unsuccessful despite “our longstanding relationship with those lawmakers,” Chapek said. A few days later Disney shareholders.
Last Friday, Chapek apologized and said the campaign was suspending all political donations in Florida.
“I really believe we are infinitely the best and strongest company because of our LGBTQ + community,” Chapek said in a statement to Disney staff. an open champion for the defense, visibility and opportunities you deserve ”.
Disney on Wednesday did not respond to an email request about whether the outings during breaks for work this week were affected.
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