Gabrielle Union Blasts Disney for Handling of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill: ‘You Shouldn’t Fund Hate and Oppression’

Gabrielle Union has slammed the Walt Disney Company for its widely panned choice to take a mild stance on proposed anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation in Florida.

The actress, who stars alongside Zach Braff in the studio’s upcoming Disney Plus reimagining of “Cheaper by the Dozen,” voiced her dismay regarding the situation on the red carpet for the streaming release.

“Somebody asked me, ‘Are you disappointed?’ 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,” Union told Variety at the premiere. “We need to own that if you truly are taking stands against hate and oppression, you should not fund hate and oppression. Period. The damage is done.”

Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union

The Walt Disney Company and CEO Bob Chapek have been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks for the company’s initial decision to take a soft stance on new Florida legislation known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would restrict discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation in educational settings. The bill was approved by the state House of Representatives on February 24, and by the state Senate in early March.

In addition, Variety revealed that Chapek had received a letter from LGBTQIA+ Disney employees urging that the business take a public stand opposing the measure. According to an Orlando Sentinel story from February 25, Disney has provided money to every single sponsor and co-sponsor of the bill.

“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.”

When asked on the topic of Disney associates reaching out to Chapek, Union hypothesized, “I think a lot of people reached out to him. 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.”

A group of LGBTQIA+ employees at The Walt Disney Company are planning a week of staff walkouts in response to the Chapek’s handling of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.