Headline RoundupMarch 12th, 2022

Disney to Pause Florida Political Donations Amid Controversy Over LGBTQ Education Bill

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek apologized Friday for his earlier “silence” on a Florida bill that would limit classroom education on LGBTQ identities

Chapek also announced that Disney would halt donations to Florida politicians and increase support for “advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states.” Chapek said the bill, called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, was “yet another challenge to basic human rights,” adding, “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.” Disney has drawn criticism from both supporters and opponents of the bill, particularly after an Orlando Sentinel (Not Rated) report highlighted how the company had donated to each of the bill’s sponsors and co-sponsors. On Monday, Chapek expressed “unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ+ community” but declined to formally oppose the bill. Two days later, Chapek said Disney had been “opposed to the bill from the outset” and promised to meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis, however, told reporters on Thursday that he wouldn’t let “woke corporations” like Disney deter him from disallowing “transgenderism in kindergarten classrooms.”

While coverage was generally more common in left-rated outlets than right-rated outlets on Friday, outlets across the spectrum tracked the story as it progressed throughout the week. As with other reporting on the Florida bill, right-rated outlets tended to call it a “parental rights” bill, and left-rated outlets tended to use the “Don’t Say Gay” label. Disney-owned ABC News (Lean Left) did not appear to report on Chapek's statements but did publish headlines like “What is the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?” and “'Don't say gay' bill stokes fear among families.”

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