It may be becoming clearer why Disney has made such “progressive” stands recently on gender issues.
An heir to the massive Disney fortune is a biological woman who is identifying as a man. Charlee Disney is the daughter/son of Roy P. Disney. He is the grandson of the company’s co-founder and the great-nephew of Walt Disney himself.
Charlee Disney is also a teacher of high school biology and environmental science. He loudly criticized the Florida Parental Rights in Education law for its policies. He said that these laws make it so students “can’t learn about their community and their history at school, or play sports or use the bathroom they want to use.”
The new law in Florida has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics. It was recently signed into law by the governor and it prohibits teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues with students from kindergarten up to third grade.
Charlee Disney talked to the press about not having openly gay role models and certainly didn’t have any trans or nonbinary role models. He said that he did not see himself reflected in anyone, and this made him feel like there was something wrong with him.
On March 31, Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, talked about the idea that a 55-year-old state law allowed for Disney to effectively govern itself at its sprawling Walt Disney World theme park. He questioned whether the law should be abolished. When the governor was asked if he should retaliate because of the way Disney came out against the Parental Rights in Education law, he said, “I don’t believe you ‘retaliate’ but I think what I would say as a matter of first principle, I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power.”
DeSantis noted that he saw the same kind of power play when he created the Big Tech censorship legislation. This law gave the people of Florida the right to sue Big Tech if they de-platformed or censored people because of ideological reasons.
Governor DeSantis complained that at the 11th hour in this Big Tech legislation, Disney was able to get politicians to “carve-out” exemptions for theme parks. The governor thought Disney’s actions were not right but decided not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and veto the entire bill. But he said what happened should not have happened; it should not be in the law.
“So I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years,” DeSantis stated.
Governor DeSantis said that his state should not have one organization that dictates policy for all of the people and if that practice were to stop, it would be good for all of Florida.
The Disney family is showing their strength in their position by pledging $500,000 to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and they revealed Charlee Disney’s gender identity in an appeal for more money. Roy P. Disney wrote to the Los Angeles Times, “Equality matters deeply to us, especially because our child, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Charlee Corra Disney has come out saying that he regrets not doing more. His mother, Sheri Disney, said that she was disappointed that the Disney Corporation was slow to speak out against the Florida law.
A spokesperson for Disney said that the Florida law should never have passed and never signed into law. Now, the opposition fueled by family interests may cost the company to lose its self-governing rights.