Actress Gabrielle Union is speaking out against Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The Parental Rights in Educational bill has been called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by activists who oppose the bill’s intent: to ban the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.
According to the bill, these lessons, “may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” Teachers or schools found to be in violation of this bill are open to being sued by parents.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the “LA’s Finest” star opened up about her thoughts on the polarizing piece of legislation.
Gabrielle Union Says ‘Nothing Shocks Me But The Fear Gripped Me’
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill is a personal topic for the “Bring It On” actress, who is a stepmother to husband Dwayne Wade’s transgender daughter Zaya Wade. The family also owns a Florida, given that Wade was an NBA player for the Miami Heat. Although the bill has gained the most heat in Florida, it is also picking up steam in the nearby states of Texas and Georgia.
“I don’t want to say shock because hatred doesn’t shock me at this point. I’ve been a black woman in America since ’72. Nothing shocks me, but the fear that gripped me because I know what this leads to,” she explained when asked how she feels about the latest wave of conservative bills targeted at LGBTQIA+ youth.
“Every moment in history, there has been this moment. We know how this ends. We know where hate and oppression lead,” she added. “And it can start now with the LGBTQIA community, but if you think that it’s just a them problem. Oh baby, you’re next.”
Gabrielle Union Calls On Businesses To Do More Than Just Post A Statement
Disney has been widely criticized for its own role in the legislation. Although Disney CEO Bob Chapek has since issued an apology to the LGBTQIA+ employees, the corporation donated to the political campaign of Florida Dennis Baxley, who was one of the primary sponsors of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
When it comes to combating legislation that could isolate and intimidate LGBTQIA+ youth, the best-selling author said that corporations actually need to use their money in a positive way and not just issue a statement on social media.
“If you’re going to take a stand and be all about diversity and inclusion — and it’s not just about black boxes after George Floyd died — you need to actually put your money where your mouth is,” she continued. “You can’t stand against hate and oppression and fund hate and oppression. That doesn’t work.”
“Obviously, our family has a big spotlight. My child is one child,” she added. “There are countless children who deserve peace and the ability to survive and thrive in this world, just like everybody else. And if you think that your kid isn’t next, you are so sadly mistaken.”
John Oliver Roasts Bob Chapek Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Legislation
At a shareholder’s meeting, Disney CEO Bob Chapek tried to defend his company against the controversy, saying, “When we donate money to different political candidates, we have no idea how they’re going to vote going forward into the future.”
However, John Oliver absolutely wasn’t buying it. On the March 13, 2022, episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” the host called his comments “such bull—-” and “actively insulting.”
“It is actively insulting because it’s just not how donating works,” he countered. “When you donate money, you generally know what the recipient is going to do with it. That is why people donate to ‘Feeding America’ and not ‘Feeding America Or Maybe Taking Food Away From America.’”
After facing criticism for his initially tepid response to Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that the company will pause all political donations in the Sunshine State. pic.twitter.com/OQPZSsnlUa
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 11, 2022
“For all Chapek’s self-congratulation about how movies like Black Panther can instigate change, that change clearly has its limits given that just this week the movie’s director, Ryan Coogler, had been handcuffed by police while trying to withdraw money from his own bank account,” Oliver pointed out.
“Marginalized creators have made billions of dollars for Disney,” he continued. “Should it embarrass them that it took them until this week to realize that they shouldn’t take that money and use it to actively undermine those creators’ interests? Who’s to say?”
“I’ll tell you,” he concluded. “Me.”