Disney 'Crossed a Line' With 'Don't Say Gay' Repeal Claim, DeSantis Says

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that the Walt Disney Company "crossed a line" by announcing its plan to repeal the Florida legislation known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which was officially signed into law on Monday.

In a press conference in Tallahassee on Tuesday, DeSantis told reporters, "For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and that they are going to actively work to repeal it, I think one was fundamentally dishonest, but two, I think that crossed the line."

The bill has been the topic of national controversy in recent months, as it prohibits the public school teaching and discussion of sexual orientation for children ages 5 to 9. Disney condemned the bill after CEO Bob Chapek initially stayed silent on the matter, causing the company's employees to stage a walkout in protest.

On Monday, Disney announced that the company planned to work to get the bill repealed after it was signed. A spokesperson for Disney released a statement that said, "Florida's HB 1557, also known as the 'Don't Say Gay' bill, should never have passed and should never have 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"Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the Legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that," the spokesperson added.

DeSantis on Tuesday said that Disney's claim went against what the company stands for.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday that Disney "crossed the line" by announcing the company planned to repeal the newly signed "Don't Say Gay" bill. In this photo, Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek on February 24, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"For them to say they're going to actively work to repeal substantive protections for parents, as a company that is supposedly marketing its services to parents with young children, I think they crossed the line," he said.

"This state is governed by the interest of the people of the state of Florida, it is not based on the demands of California corporate executives," he continued. "They do not run this state, they do not control this state."

DeSantis also took a shot at the criticism Disney faced in regards to its connection to Xinjiang, where Disney's 2020 movie Mulan was filmed. Xinjiang is a region of China where Uyghur Muslims are facing significant human rights issues and oppression.

"If we would have put in the bill that you are not allowed to have curriculum that discussed the oppression of the Uyghurs in China, Disney would have endorsed that in a second," DeSantis told reporters. "And that's the hypocrisy of this, and we're gonna make sure we're fighting back when people are threatening our parents and threatening our kids."

Disney, which initially stayed silent on the contents of the bill, issued an apology to LGBTQ+ employees after backlash and announced in early March that the company was halting donations to all politicians in Florida for the time being.

Newsweek reached out to the Walt Disney Company for comment.