The Walt Disney Company is expanding its media empire into at least ten anti-gay countries and regions as the company takes a left-wing stance in the U.S. that includes denouncing Florida’s parental rights bill.
The entertainment and media titan announced on Tuesday that Disney+, the company’s subscription-based streaming service, would make its way into 42 new areas in Europe, Asia and West Africa starting in May with a rollout of launches going through mid-June.
However, nearly a dozen of the announced places where the streaming service will enter have strict anti-gay laws.
As part of its expansion, Disney+ will make its way into Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen – all of which outlaw homosexuality.
In many of those places, same-sex activity is punishable through lengthy imprisonments, hard labor and fines.
In others, like Saudi Arabia, where there is no criminal code, homosexuals and transgender individuals face an array of punishments, ranging from fines to chemical castrations to death. In Yemen, homosexuality is also punishable by death.
The announcement of Disney+’s expansion into anti-LGBTQ+ areas comes as Disney positions itself as supportive of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States, saying in a statement earlier this week that they are “dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
Disney released the statement in opposition to the Republican-backed Parental Rights in Education law that was signed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday and said they were “committed to supporting the national and state organizations” working to have the law repealed. The statement included ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which falsely claims it bans any discussion pertaining to being gay in Florida schools.
The law bans teachers from giving classroom instruction on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade.
Disney+ isn’t the only Disney brand doing business in countries where homosexuality is illegal. FOX Business reported on Wednesday that Disney Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, offers Southern Caribbean cruises starting at $3,870 per person. The cruises sail this summer to Antigua, Dominica and St. Maarten.
All three of these destinations ban gay marriage. Antiqua carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for same-sex sexual activity and Dominica carries a penalty of up to 10 years for same-sex sexual activity. Antiqua and Dominica both also don’t have any laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
In addition to LGBTQ+ rights, Disney has vocally supported the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, voting rights, and other minority groups, but when it comes to the ongoing Uyghur genocide in China, Disney has been silent.
Disney has a “very active” presence in China, according to Disney’s Asia Pacific president Luke Kang. In addition to having two Disney stores in China and a Disney resort in Shanghai, several Disney movies have been filmed there, including Mulan, which was partly filmed in the Xinjiang region of China, where a network of Chinese detention centers have been built for Uyghurs to be subject to human rights abuses.