Now, another political figure is chiming in on the situation and inviting Disney to take a different step.
A Quick History
As a quick summary, the Florida Bill at issue is what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill. The Bill’s formal name is the “Parental Rights in Education bill.” As ABC News notes, the “bill would limit what classrooms can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity.” The Hill shares that the legislation would “restrict mention of LGBTQ+ topics in classrooms that are not ‘age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.'”
Disney released an initial statement regarding the Bill, which was shared through Good Morning America. In that statement, Disney shared that they feel that the biggest impact they can have in “creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content [they] produce, the welcoming culture [they] create here and the diverse community organizations [they] support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community.”
Disney’s CEO, Bob Chapek, then sent a memo addressing the Bill. During the Shareholder meeting held in March of 2022, Chapek then issued another statement regarding the Bill. During the Shareholder meeting, Chapek shared that Disney was “opposed to the bill from the outset, but  chose not to take a public position on it because [they] thought [they] could be more effective working behind the scenes.”
The Bill has been passed by the Florida House and Senate, and is pending Florida Governor DeSantis’ signature.
During the Shareholder meeting, Chapek also indicated that Disney would be “signing the Human Right’s Campaign’s statement opposing such legislative efforts around the country,” and “pledging $5 million towards organizations,” including the Human Rights Campaign. The Human Rights Campaign then rejected Disney’s donation and issued a statement in response.
We’ve also seen statements regarding this Florida Bill made by Disney Animation, Pixar employees, and more. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued some statements regarding the Bill and Disney’s response, Chapek has issued an apology following Disney’s response to the situation, and Disney employees have also planned walkouts in response to the Bill.
Response from California’s Governor
Governor Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, recently chimed in on the situation. On Twitter, the Governor reposted an article from the LA Times regarding Disney employees who were reportedly “hurt” and “angry” over Chapek’s response to the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” Bill.
Newsom then made a direct call to Disney and said, “Disney, the door is open to bring those jobs back to California – the state that actually represents the values of your workers.”
Disney, the door is open to bring those jobs back to California – the state that actually represents the values of your workers. https://t.co/kbCi7Zgs90
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 13, 2022
The new campus is expected to be home to “more than 2,000 Cast, Imagineers and employees.” According to what had previously been shared, Disney expects that most of those Cast Members working in Parks, Experiences, and Products professional roles who are located in Southern California and are not fully dedicated to the Disneyland Resort, or the international parks business, will be asked to relocate to the new Florida campus.
It appears that Governor Newsom’s comments are likely made in reference to some of these jobs that are being relocated. Governor Newsom isn’t the only one making statements regarding the relocation of these jobs. The website that has been built to organize certain walkouts by Disney Employees also lists the following as one of their demands: “Stopping any efforts to move employees to Florida office locations, ensuring employee safety and employment retention.”
And California’s Governor has chimed in on the situation once again. In a Tweet, Governor Newsom called out to Disney and said “We here in California respect your employees’ families. We think our LGBTQ residents are part of what makes our state great. Let’s talk.” Governor Newsom also reposted an article from the Orange County Register entitled “Why Disney Should Rethink Its Florida Expansion, Keep Jobs in California.”
Hey Disney –
We here in California respect your employees’ families.
We think our LGBTQ residents are part of what makes our state great.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 29, 2022
This is a developing situation. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates involving Disney and let you know what we find.