“Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho believes that Disney can “make the most impact right now” by using their position of power to take action against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In early March, Disney drew backlash after a report found that the company had donated a total of $249,126 to the campaigns of Florida legislature members who voted in favor of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, including $50,000 to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Disney also faced harsh criticism for not doing enough to protest the passing of the bill.
On March 7, the Florida Senate passed the bill and DeSantis signed it on March 28. The bill states that public schools are now banned from “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner.”
Cravalho expressed her disapproval of Disney playing “the safe role” and suggested that they use their position of “power” and “money” to fight back against the bill, as corporations have “the most impact right now.”
“We know that representation is important, [but] real life is bills and laws being pushed forward by lawmakers that are directly funded by corporations. It’s important that they be on the right side of history and listen,” Cravalho said in an interview with IndieWire. “Instead of trying to play the safe role and take a step back, take a step forward. Step up. Step up and say what’s right and what’s wrong. And say ‘gay’ for God’s sakes, people are gay. People are gay. If you didn’t know by now, now you know.”
Cravalho, who voiced the titular heroine in the 2016 Disney animated film “Moana,” came out on TikTok in 2020 as bisexual.