Entertainment giant Disney has shrunk over $30 billion in market cap since the company expressed their vocal opposition to a Florida law banning instruction of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools for kindergarten through third grade.

Florida bill HB 1557, dubbed by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, was passed in March by Florida lawmakers and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 28.

On the same day that DeSantis signed the bill, Disney issued a statement highly critical of HB 1557, saying “Itt was the company’s objective to have it repealed, and should never have passed and should never have been signed into law.” 

Disney added in the statement that it was the company’s goal “for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.” That statement went over with DeSantis’ and Florida lawmakers, like a lead balloon.

Even though the stock has regained a little, from march 28, the day they issued the statement of wanting the bill repealed, until today, March 25, their market cap has fallen approximately $30.8 billion. 
Backers of the legislation say it gives parents more power around deciding how and when topics relating to LGBTQ issues can be introduced to their children. It also gives parents the opportunity to sue school districts for violations of the rules set out in the legislation.

“Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity 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,” the bill (pdf) reads.

DeSantis said at the bill signing on March 28, “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as five years old.”

Disney’s declaration of opposition to the bill prompted some parents’ groups to call for boycotts of the company’s products, movies, theme parks, and shows.

Base on 1.82 billion outstanding shares and on the March 28 share price of $136.90, Disney’s market cap stood at some $249.2 billion. With its shares closing Monday, April 25 at $120, Disney’s value as measured by market capitalization has declined to 218.4 billion, a drop of $30.8 billion.

On Friday, April 22, Desantis signed a legislature-passed bill to dissolve Walt Disney World’s self-governing statue in Florida, with potential tax implications for the company. 

After signing the bill DeSantis made reference to Disney’s pledge to have HB 1557 repealed. “I was very clear about saying, ‘You ain’t influencing me. I’m standing strong right here.”

“Incredibly, they say, “we are going to work to repeal parents’ right in Florida,” DeSantis said, characterizing what he viewed as Disney’s objective in the controversy.

DeSantis added, “And I’m just thinking to myself, you’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re not going to marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state. We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that.”

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9 months ago

It’s not Don’t Say Gay, It’s
Don’t Groom Our Kids Bill

9 months ago

I hope Disney goes broke!