Disney to end all political donations in Florida. Here’s why

Disney CEO Bob Chapek in Boston.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek is pictured during an address at the Boston College Chief Executives Club on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Boston. Disney announced it will halt all political donations in Florida as the company protests recent legislation.

Charles Krupa, Associated Press

The Walt Disney Co. announced Friday it will stop all political donations in Florida due to a controversial state bill that restricts discussions of LGBTQ-related topics in public schools.

Why this matters: Disney — one of the biggest employers in Florida — has reportedly given $300,000 to those who back the Florida bill, per Popular Information.

Driving the news: Disney CEO Bob Chapek sent a statement to Disney employees Friday that said the company would reassess its political donations policies.

  • “We are hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values,” he wrote. “And today, we are pausing all political donations in the state of Florida pending this review. But, I know there is so much more work to be done.”

Catch up quick: Florida lawmakers gave final approval last week for the new Parental Rights in Education bill, which has been called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics.

  • The bill — HB1557 — would restrict discussion of LGBTQ topics and “sexual orientation or gender identity” in Florida’s public schools from kindergarten to third grade.
  • Critics have spoken out against Florida’s bill in recent weeks, saying it might hurt LGBTQ children for a number of reasons.
  • Disney had been silent on the bill until LGBTQ members of Disney’s staff sent a letter to Chapek, asking him to speak out against the bill.
  • DeSantis, though, responded to Disney and other corporations that don’t support the bill, saying that companies that focus on family-friendly content “should understand that parents of young kids do not want this injected into their kid’s kindergarten classroom.” 

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