Hollywood News

Marvel Studios Denounces ‘All Legislation’ Infringing on LGBTQIA+ Rights Amidst Disney’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Row

Marvel Studios has denounced “all legislation” infringing on the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in a statement, on Tuesday, even as its parent company Disney is embroiled in a controversy over Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.


“We strongly denounce any and ALL legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. Marvel Studios stands for hope, inclusivity, and strength; and we proudly stand with the community. Today, we pledge to continue our strong commitment as allies who promote the values of equality, acceptance and respect,” read Marvel’s statement.

Earlier, Disney drew criticism for previously having donated money to all sponsors of the recently-passed legislation in Florida known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which limits discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

Following this, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek sent out a company-wide email expressing the multimedia giant’s “unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.” However, there was dissatisfaction over Disney not publicly addressing the issue.

Chapek later spoke about the company’s opposition to the legislation during a shareholders meeting, last week. He had further pledged $5 million to the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQIA+ rights organisations.

However, this was seen as a soft response by both outsiders and those within the company.

The Human Rights Campaign refused to accept the donation until Disney took “meaningful action” against Florida’s legislation.

Further, a letter from LGBTQIA+ employees of Pixar and their allies accused the CEO of not taking a concrete stance to support the community, throughout the shareholders meeting. They felt that there was, instead, an attempt “to placate both sides.” Hateful messages shared during the Q&A portion of the meeting were not condemned either, they added.

The letter also pointed out that Chapek’s assertion of support “rang hollow” when executives at Disney have actively been censoring LGBTQIA+ content in Pixar films.


The employees called for Disney’s executives to “immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill” and to “fully denounce this legislation publicly” to make amends for their financial involvement.

Following this, Chapek apologised to Disney’s LGBTQ+ employees, via an email, and said, “I missed the mark in this case but I am an ally you can count on — and I will be an outspoken champion for the protections, visibility, and opportunity you deserve.” He further announced that the media giant would pause all political donations in Florida while restructuring the framework of its political giving.


The CEO’s words, however, could not pacify Disney’s staff, who now plan to protest in person and virtually for a week, starting Tuesday. “The recent statements by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) leadership regarding the Florida legislature’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation,” the organisers stated, on the newly launched website whereischapek.com.

“While we certainly appreciate Bob Chapek’s apology note, there is still more work to be done,” the open letter added, and went on to list a set of demands, including publicly committing to an actionable plan to protect employees from such hateful legislation and rather than pausing, indefinitely ceasing all campaign donations to the politicians involved in the creation and passage of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.