What will 'Don't Say Gay' fallout mean for Disney's future?

The entrance to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on March 22, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:20 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 20:08:00-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Disney is certainly feeling the heat these days over the "Parental Rights In Education" bill and how Disney's CEO has responded.

The bill bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

The pressure on Disney seems to be only building. The hashtag #BoycottDisney us getting online support now from both sides who think Disney has mishandled their response to the what critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

"It's going to hurt Disney in the end. It's terrible because this at the demise of children’s entertainment," said Eliana Girard with the Palm Beach County Young Republicans.

Girard thinks Disney is now trying too hard at opposing the bill.

Democrats like Orlando State Rep. Anna Eskamani, though, think Disney isn’t doing enough to back up its words.

"I do think these corporations have a history of making contributions to both sides, but mostly Republicans here in Florida. They have to decide what is more important, corporate bottom line, securing tax breaks, or their cast members and employees," Eskamani said.

Walkouts, boycotts, it’s not where Disney execs likely imagined this would go.

"I think the message is when it comes to crisis management you really need to get ahead of a story, you really need to be prepared," said Todd Templin with Boardroom PR in Fort Lauderdale.

Templin said what Disney is experiencing is part of the new normal for corporations, speaking out on social issues and expecting to take some heat.

"I anticipate Disney will weather this storm. They just can’t add more fuel to the fire. Just kind of support their employees, listen to them, and just try to let this pass," Templin said.

In the end, Templin said Mickey Mouse may have taken some hits, but he’s not likely going anywhere, especially in Florida.