Gabrielle Union stars in Disney’s remake of Cheaper by the Dozen, which is set to premiere on Disney + next week. But Union’s union with Disney did not stop her from calling out the entertainment giant for its complete failure to read the room in its response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which made headlines last week.
First, let’s start with what Disney CEO Bob Chapek said regarding Florida’s bill.
“I want to be crystal clear: I and the entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities,” Chapek said in a memo sent. “And, we are committed to creating a more inclusive company ― and world. I understand that the very need to reiterate that commitment means we still have more work to do.”
“As we have seen time and again, corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds,” he continued. “Instead, they are often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame … I do not want anyone to mistake a lack of a statement for a lack of support. We all share the same goal of a more tolerant, respectful world. Where we may differ is in the tactics to get there.”
That was a loth of words just to essentially say: “We support you, but not in public, bruh!”
It got even worse when later in the memo, Chapek pulled some Michael Jordan “Republicans by sneakers too” sh** in noting that the company had “contributed to both Republican and Democrat legislators who have subsequently taken positions on both sides of the legislation.” In fact, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney had given money to every single sponsor and co-sponsor of the controversial bill.
Anyway, back to Gabrielle.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Union praised the Cheaper by the Dozen remake saying she’s “incredibly proud” of it “especially right now because we actually say gay.”
Without mentioning Disney specifically (but we all knew who she was throwing shade at) she went on to challenge corporations to “put your money where your mouth is” if they’re going to claim solidarity with anti-discrimination causes.
“I’ve been a Black woman in America since ’72,” she said. “I know what this leads to. Every moment in history, there has been this moment. We know how this ends. We know where hate and oppression lead …You can’t stand against hate and oppression and fund hate and oppression. That doesn’t work.”
Union expressed similar sentiments in an interview with Variety, during which she expressed contempt for how Disney and other influential corporations were on their Aaron Burr steez and waiting to see which way the wind blows on the controversy instead of weighing in.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Are you disappointed?’ I’m disappointed when my order isn’t right at In-N-Out,” she said. “I don’t even think that’s a word that you could use for something like this, where children’s lives are literally hanging in the balance. We need to own that if you truly are taking stands against hate and oppression, you should not fund hate and oppression. Period. The damage is done.”
“There are so many states that are following suit because there is no pushback because no one in positions of power [or] corporations are taking a hard stance,” she continued. “Let’s look who’s donating to what and let’s call people out.”
Union is right of course. Just after Florida introduced its bill—which is actually called HB 1557 or the Parental Rights in Education bill—Georgia introduced a similar bill. States including Idaho, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee also followed suit with similar bills.
For the most part, the legislation serves as the anti-LGBTQ adaption of anti-critical race theory efforts (a “critical gay theory” issue, if you will.) It’s just Republican legislators creating a solution to a non-problem in an effort to push bigotry and ignorance under the guise of parental rights.
Union, who, as you know, is the stepmother of Zaya Wade, who is trans, should be fighting this propaganda-for-prudes-based legislation, and so should we all,