Case Study

The Walt Disney Company: Responding to “Don’t Say Gay” Legislation in Florida

Claire Prosperi, Katelyn Martin, Prof. J. S. O’Rourke
January 15, 2023
North America
Strategy & General Management
11 pages
Don’t Say Gay, Corporate Advocacy, Disney Special District, Parental Rights in Education
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
Average rating: 

In March 2022, hundreds of employees at The Walt Disney Company headquarters in Burbank, California staged a walkout over Disney’s response to the Parental Rights in Education act, also known as Florida HB 1557. The walkout came after employees pleaded with the company to publicly take a stance against the bill. In an angry response to the Disney position, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis promoted and signed legislation to revoke Disney’s “special district privileges,” leaving local taxpayers with annual bills for millions that the company had previously paid. The larger question emerging is when, if, and whether a large organization should become a public policy advocate.

Learning Outcomes: 

Purpose of the Case Study
1. To highlight the importance of having a corporate advocacy strategy;
2. To provide an example of a company responding to a social issue and how their response matters;
3. To demonstrate how the timing of a response can be equally important to the substance of the response;
4. To encourage discussion around how companies should or should not respond to social issues.