Actress Gabrielle Union is angry at the Walt Disney Company for what she sees as a soft response to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” legislation, more commonly known by the misleading moniker, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Are you disappointed?'” Union told Variety at the premiere of her new Disney+ film, a remake of “Cheaper By the Dozen” which is believed to have inspired the iconic “Brady Bunch” television series. “I’m disappointed when my order isn’t right at In-N-Out. I don’t even think that’s a word that you could use for something like this where children’s lives are literally hanging in the balance.”
Conservatives would agree that “children’s lives are literally hanging in the balance,” but not for the reasons Union thinks.
The controversial legislation prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity with schoolchildren in the third grade and under. While liberals mostly forget to mention the bill focuses on kids under the age of eight or nine years old when they are protesting it, many, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw characterize it more accurately as an “anti-grooming” bill.
“The bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill,” Pushaw tweeted earlier this month. “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children.”
If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.
— Christina Pushaw 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) March 4, 2022
But Union is angry that Disney and its CEO Bob Chapek trod lightly around the bill, which passed Florida’s House of Representatives in late February and, in early March, the state Senate. Disney, it was revealed, had made donations to every sponsor and co-sponsor of the legislation.
Amid outraged cries from Disney-owned Pixar employees, Chapek released a statement in an attempt to calm the woke mob.
“I want to be crystal clear: I and the entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities,” Chapek wrote. “We all share the same goal of a more tolerant, respectful world. Where we may differ is in the tactics to get there.”
But for Union and many who believe as she does, the olive branch extended by Chapek was too little, and it came too late.
“We need to own that if you truly are taking stands against hate and oppression, you should not fund hate and oppression. Period,” said Union. “The damage is done.”
Gabrielle Union calling out Disney on a Disney red carpet? STUNNING. https://t.co/2eBEUTQiDF
— Olivia Truffaut-Wong (@iWatchiAm) March 17, 2022
“There are so many states that are following suit [with Florida’s legislation], because there is no pushback, because no one in positions of power [or] corporations are taking a hard stance,” Union continued. “Let’s look who’s donating to what and let’s call people out…. I think a lot of people like to confuse accountability and consequences for cancel culture. And as long as you have a microphone and a stage that’s not cancel culture, honey…. We have to campaign and fund for those people who stand for all of us.”
As for the employees, such as those at Pixar, who demanded Chapek and Disney change their approach to so-called “anti-gay” legislation and those who sponsor it, Union is dismayed that it takes the kid of a famous person to make the point.
“I think a lot of people reached out to [Chapek],” Union, whose stepdaughter is trans, said. “And if you have to see my child for that to be, to be the difference maker, that’s not enough. There’s a lot of kids out there, not just famous ones.”
With respect to Texas legislation that considers gender reassignment measures, such as hormonal therapies and blockers, mastectomies, castration, and vasectomies, for minors, child abuse, Union says she is fighting such “bad people” as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“There are bad people controlling your fate, but we are working our asses off to make sure that not only do you survive but that you thrive,” Union said. “There are so many more people that are working actively so that you have peace and that you can exist in the same way as everyone else has the ability to exist. We are fighting and we will never stop fighting. As long as I have air in my lungs we will not stop fighting for you and I’m not alone in that.”
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