It should come as no surprise that Florida once again finds itself at the center of yet another controversial decision. Between them and Texas, there seems to be an outright assault on the LGBTQ+ community and their rights in those states. The constant push for laws that marginalize an already marginalized community isn’t all that surprising from Florida.
What is surprising and downright grotesque is the discovery that Disney is a key donor for the new ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill currently making its way through the Florida house.
The bill is officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, but has infamously become known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. It was passed by the Florida’s House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill prohibits “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in the state’s primary schools. It further empowers citizens to legally go after anyone who discusses sexual orientation in education, and would allow further examination into the parents of the children, much like Texas and their new assault on Trans discussions in schools. None of this is all that surprising coming from a state that has long been against the community.
But according the Orlando Sentinel, Disney has donated to every single sponsor of the bill.
Despite all of Disney’s posturing for inclusion and being at the forefront of LGBTQ+ issues, this pattern of profits over everything is unfortunately nothing new. Ocala Republican Senator Dennis Baxley has been an outspoken advocate of all anti-gay bills proposed in the state, even going as far as to support bills that would ban gay parents from adopting children and even going as far as to compare children of same sex marriages as being the same as children raised by alcoholics and abusers. Despite this, Disney has remained a donor of the Senator for years, and have contributed to his push for the current legislation.
The bill is expected to reach the Senate for final approval next week. While there is still hope that these big corporations who preach inclusion but willingly support exclusionary bills for tax breaks actually walk the talk, it is doubtful that any of them will as they have already placed their bets on the worst kinds of people.
It is wholly grotesque to see the true colors of a company like Disney be so blatantly exposed in an issue that they should absolutely be on the right side of. For all their rainbow merchandise and pretend advocacy, nothing speaks louder than money. Disney proves here that what matters most isn’t the under represented or marginalized communities. What matters is profits and tax breaks. Anything else is meaningless. We probably should’ve known that this was always the case, as Disney proves a fact we try to pretend isn’t true: ALL corporations are in it for the money and nothing else. All the flags and commercials and inclusionary hiring practices are merely publicity stunts to distract us from their real intentions.
That goes for all of them, even ones as loud as Disney. They can color every park in rainbows and hire as many LGBTQ+ employees as they want, but none of it makes up for the fact that where the real money goes is to make sure those same people don’t have rights in states across the country. If it provides bonuses for executives, they will back whoever provides that for them. We hear it time and time again: follow the money. Well, the money tells a story of anti-gay sponsorship and donations, and when those bills pass you can bet that you have Disney to blame.
There is not a single corporation, especially one as powerful as Disney that has your best interest in mind. Their sponsorship of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill speaks louder than any Gay Day the park hosts. It is a harsh reminder that no matter how good their propaganda is, every single corporation has profits as their primary goal. I know we want to believe they’re using their power and influence for good, but time and time again they prove that they are doing anything but. I’m sorry, I know this is hard to hear, but the happiest place on earth absolutely, unequivocally does not give a fuck about you.
I’m not going to ask you to boycott Disney, but I will ask that you be a bit more mindful about corporate greed and how ugly that head can actually be when it pops up. Corporations define laws that harm and marginalize the very people they swear they support, and we should be much more aware of the bullshit that gets spun to us.
Stop defending billionaires. Stop defending corporations. Start ACTUALLY supporting the communities you believe you’re an ally to. Because even Disney isn’t an ally. They are the money behind the villains.
Don’t ever forget that.