Auli’i Cravalho, the voice actress star of Disney’s “Moana,” is one of many celebrities speaking out against Florida’s ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill, which critics are denouncing and calling the ‘Don’t Say Gay‘ bill.
She also challenged big corporations in the state to stand up against the bill, such as Walt Disney. During a recent interview, the voice actress, who is bisexual, addressed the controversial bill that Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed into law.
After public backlash against its silence, Disney finally spoke out against the bill and immediately received “punishment” in the form of abolishing its special district rights and privileges. Read on to find out more about Cravalho’s statements and the sanctions on Disney.
Auli’i Cravalho Asked Corporations To Step Up
During an interview with IndieWire, Cravalho said, “We know that representation is important, [but] real life is bills and laws being pushed forward by lawmakers that are directly funded by corporations. It’s important that they be on the right side of history and listen.”
“Instead of trying to play the safe role and take a step back, take a step forward. Step up. Step up and say what’s right and wrong,” she continued, “And say ‘gay’ for god’s sake, people are gay. People are gay. If you didn’t know by now, now you know.”
On March 11th, after Disney’s employees wrote letters questioning the company’s silence on the controversial bill and heavy celebrity backlash, Bob Chapek, the CEO of Walt Disney, apologized to its employees for the company’s silence while the bill passed.
Disney CEO, Bob Chapek Reached Out To Governor DeSantis
In an email Chapek sent to Disney’s employees, especially its “LGBTQ+ community,” he wrote, “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry. Starting immediately, Disney is increasing (its) support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states.”
Chapek also shared that he had reached out to Governor DeSantis “to express our disappointment and concern that if the legislation becomes law, it could be used to target LGBTQ kids and families.” He also said that the DeSantis had agreed to meet with him and several LGBTQ members of Disney’s senior team.
Disney later put up a statement on its website condemning the bill. It read that the bill “should never have passed and been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
Cravalho Believes That Corporations Have Power Against The Bill
During the interview with IndieWire, 21-year-old Cravalho also said, “To speak directly about the Disney of it all, to have the individuals stand up against a corporation is what needed to happen, unfortunately.”
She expressed that she believes that “it is important that the corporations behind the films that have the power, that have the money, truly help the communities” instead of just sending messages and posting statements.
The “Ralph Breaks The Internet” voice actress also said, “I am bisexual, and there are only words that I can speak in support of trans lives and people of color. And I can put my money where my mouth is as well, but corporations truly have the most impact right now.”
The Florida Legislature Revoked Disney’s Special District As Punishment
The Blast reported that after Disney publicly condemned the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DeSantis reacted and attacked the company for being “woke” and taking a stand on several cultural issues. In an email, he said Disney had “lost any moral authority to tell you what to do.”
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He then expanded the legislature’s special session to include measures that would punish Disney. The result was a bill that abolishes special districts in the state, including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which governs Disney World. This could cause the company to overhaul its operations and suffer severe losses.
The Reedy Creek district has existed since 1967 and covers over 25,000 acres of land. It granted the company with rights to essentially self-govern, with tax cuts, construction permits, and its own police and fire departments. Disney’s special district and all others would be dissolved by June, although the company will likely challenge the bill in court.
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