review bombed” in the fall because it depicted a gay superhero kissing his husband, with online trolls flooding the Internet Movie Database with hundreds of homophobic one-star reviews. In January, Disney was accused by the actor Peter Dinklage and others of trafficking in stereotypes by moving forward with a live-action “Snow White” movie — until it was revealed that the company planned to replace the seven dwarfs with digitally created “magical creatures,” which, in turn, prompted complaints by others about the “erasure” of people with dwarfism.

Disney executives tend to dismiss such incidents as tempests in teapots: trending today, replaced by a new complaint tomorrow. But even moderate online storms can be a distraction inside the company. Meetings are held about how and whether to respond; fretful talent partners must be reassured.

As Disney prepared to introduce its streaming service in 2019, it began an extensive review of its film library. As part of the initiative, called Stories Matter, Disney added disclaimers to content that the company determined included “negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures.” Examples included episodes of “The Muppet Show” from the 1970s and the 1941 version of “Dumbo.”

“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” the disclaimers read.

The Stories Matter team privately flagged other characters as potentially problematic, with the findings distributed to senior Disney leaders, according to two current Disney executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information. Ursula, the villainous sea witch from “The Little Mermaid” (1989), was one. Her dark color palette (lavender skin, black legs) could be viewed through a racial lens, the Stories Matter team cautioned; she is also a “queer coded” character, with mannerisms inspired in part by those of a real-life drag queen.

changing of the guard, with Mr. Iger stepping down as executive chairman in December.

Mr. Iger occasionally spoke out on hot-button political issues during his time as chief executive. His successor, Bob Chapek, decided (with backing from the Disney board) to avoid weighing in on state political battles. Disney lobbyists would continue to work behind the scenes, however, as they did with the Florida legislation.

gently explored gender identity. Gonzo donned a gown, defying a directive from Miss Piggy “that the girls come as princesses and the boys come as knights.” Out magazine wrote that the episode “just sent a powerful message of love and acceptance to gender-variant kids everywhere!” And a far-right pundit blasted Disney for “pushing the trans agenda” on children, starting an online brush fire.

Around the same time, some L.G.B.T.Q. advocates were criticizing Disney over “Loki,” a Disney+ superhero show. In the third episode of “Loki,” the title character briefly acknowledged for the first time onscreen what comic fans had long known: He is bisexual. But the blink-and-you-missed-it handling of the information angered some prominent members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. “It’s, like, one word,” Russell T. Davies, a British screenwriter (“Queer as Folk”), said during a panel discussion at the time. “It’s a ridiculous, craven, feeble gesture.”

The fighting will undoubtedly continue: The Disney-Pixar film “Lightyear,” set for release in June, depicts a loving lesbian couple, while “Thor: Love and Thunder,” arriving in July, will showcase a major L.G.B.T.Q. character.

Last month, when Disney held its most recent shareholder meeting, Mr. Chapek was put on the spot by shareholders from the political left and right.

One person called Disney to task for contributions to legislators who have championed bills that restrict voting and reproductive rights. Mr. Chapek said that Disney gave money to “both sides of the aisle” and that it was reassessing its donation policies. (He subsequently paused all contributions in Florida.) Another representative for a shareholder advocacy group then took the microphone and noted that “Disney from its very inception has always represented a safe haven for children,” before veering into homophobic and transphobic comments and asking Mr. Chapek to “ditch the politicization and gender ideology.”

In response, Mr. Chapek noted the contrasting shareholder concerns. “I think all the participants on today’s call can see how difficult it is to try to thread the needle between the extreme polarization of political viewpoints,” he said.

“What we want Disney to be is a place where people can come together,” he continued. “My opinion is that, when someone walks down Main Street and comes in the gates of our parks, they put their differences aside and look at what they have as a shared belief — a shared belief of Disney magic, hopes, dreams and imagination.”

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Florida, in a First, to Fine Social Media Companies That Ban Candidates

WASHINGTON — Florida on Monday became the first state to regulate how companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter moderate speech online, by imposing fines on social media companies that permanently ban political candidates for statewide office.

The new law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is a direct response to Facebook and Twitter’s ban of former President Donald J. Trump in January. In addition to the fines for banning candidates, it also makes it illegal to prevent some news outlets from posting to their platforms in response to the contents of their stories.

Mr. DeSantis said that signing the bill meant that Floridians would be “guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites.”

“If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable,” he said in a statement.

limiting the right to protest and providing immunity to drivers who strike protesters in public streets.

And the Republican push to make voting harder continues unabated after Mr. Trump’s relentless lying about the results of the 2020 election. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law new restrictions on voting, as did Mr. DeSantis in Florida, and Texas Republicans are poised to soon pass the nation’s biggest rollback of voting rights.

The party-wide, nationwide push stems from Mr. Trump’s repeated grievances. During his failed re-election campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly pushed to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity to certain tech firms from liability for user-generated content, even as he used their platforms to spread misinformation. Twitter and Facebook eventually banned Mr. Trump after he inspired his supporters, using their platforms, to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Republican lawmakers in Florida have echoed Mr. Trump’s rhetoric.

“I have had numerous constituents come to me saying that they were banned or de-platformed on social media sites,” said Representative Blaise Ingoglia during the debate over the bill.

But Democrats, libertarian groups and tech companies all say that the law violates the tech companies’ First Amendment rights to decide how to handle content on their own platforms. It also may prove impossible to bring complaints under the law because of Section 230, the legal protections for web platforms that Mr. Trump has attacked.

“It is the government telling private entities how to speak,” said Carl Szabo, the vice president at NetChoice, a trade association that includes Facebook, Google and Twitter as members. “In general, it’s a gross misreading of the First Amendment.” He said the First Amendment was designed to protect sites like Reddit from government intervention, not protect “politicians from Reddit.”

The Florida measure will likely be challenged in court, said Jeff Kosseff, a professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Naval Academy.

“I think this is the beginning of testing judges’ limits on these sorts of restrictions for social media,” he said.

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Cruise Line Threatens to Skip Florida Ports Over Proof-of-Vaccination Ban

Norwegian Cruise Line is threatening to keep its ships out of Florida ports after the state enacted legislation that prohibits businesses from requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19 in exchange for services.

The company, which plans to have its first cruises available to the Caribbean and Europe this summer and fall, will offer trips with limited capacity and require all guests and crew members to be vaccinated on bookings through at least the end of October.

During a quarterly earnings call on Thursday, Frank Del Rio, chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line, said the issue had been discussed with Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, a Republican. Mr. Del Rio said if the cruise line had to skip Florida ports, it could operate out of other states or the Caribbean.

“We certainly hope it doesn’t come to that,” Mr. Del Rio said. “Everyone wants to operate out of Florida. It’s a very lucrative market.”

such as Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association games, state health and safety guidelines require that fans provide proof of vaccination or of a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of attendance.

“We hope that this hasn’t become a legal football or a political football,” Mr. Del Rio said on the call.

Norwegian Cruise Line is headquartered in Florida along with Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corporation. In 2019, about 60 percent of all U.S. cruise embarkations were from Florida ports, according to an economic analysis prepared last year for the Cruise Lines International Association.

In a business update on Thursday, Norwegian Cruise Line said it was experiencing “robust future demand” with bookings for the first half of 2022 that were “meaningfully ahead” of 2019 bookings. Through the end of the first quarter of 2021, the company said it had $1.3 billion of advance ticket sales.

a statement on Monday when he signed the bill. “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision.”

His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday, and Norwegian Cruise Line could not be reached for comment.

“We hope that everyone is pushing in the same direction, which is we want to resume cruising in a safe manner, especially at the beginning,” Mr. Del Rio said on the earnings call. “Things might be different six months from now or a year from now.”

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows for cruise ships to conduct “simulated voyages” with volunteer passengers to see how cruise lines can safely resume operations with measures such as testing and potential quarantines.

The C.D.C. requires cruise lines to complete the test runs before they can be cleared to sail with passengers this summer.

“It is not possible for cruising to be a zero-risk activity for spread of Covid-19,” the C.D.C. said this week. “While cruising will always pose some risk of Covid-19 transmission, C.D.C. is committed to ensuring that cruise ship passenger operations are conducted in a way that protects crew members, passengers and port personnel.”

Tampa, Miami and Key West.

Mr. Del Rio said “pent-up demand” had helped fill bookings quickly.

“I believe it’s the No. 1 destination for Americans to the Caribbean,” Mr. Del Rio said. “Who knows? That vessel might prove to be so profitable there that it never returns back to U.S. waters.”

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Battle of the Seas: Cruise Lines vs. the C.D.C.

In the United States, flights are filling up, hotels are getting booked, vacation rentals are selling out and car rental companies are facing a shortage because of spiking demand.

But one sector remains stalled: the cruise industry.

Cruise ships sailing out of United States ports have been docked for more than a year following a series of outbreaks of the coronavirus onboard vessels at the start of the pandemic. Now, cruise companies can restart operations only by following rules laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October.

Earlier this month, the C.D.C. published a set of technical guidelines to help cruise companies prepare their ships to start sailing again in line with those rules, which were set out in the agency’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. But the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry’s trade group, called the instructions “so burdensome and ambiguous that no clear path forward or timetable can be discerned.”

Cruise companies have asked the agency to revise its guidelines to factor in the speedy rollout of vaccinations and allow for U.S. sailings to restart in July. But the C.D.C. has not yet provided a firm date, and under the current rules, cruise ships must follow a monthslong process that includes simulation voyages to test out their health and safety protocols, followed by a review period.

cruiseguy.com. “Travel is resuming at a very high level. Airplanes and hotels are packed, and no industry is better suited to restart than cruising. The lines are prepared, safety protocols are in place and now, with the high level of vaccine distribution, they feel it’s a good time to resume operations.”

In response to the C.D.C.’s delay of U.S. sailings, some cruise lines are moving their ships abroad to launch summer cruises from foreign ports, including from the Caribbean and Europe, where they are permitted to sail. Many of the voyages require adult passengers and crew members to be vaccinated.

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise company, has warned that it might also look outside the United States if the C.D.C. continues to prevent cruises from sailing domestically.

CLIA paints the C.D.C. as targeting the industry unfairly, and points to the global economic impact of the initial suspension of cruise operations from mid-March to September of last year, the latest period for which it has statistics. The group says there was a loss of $50 billion in economic activity, 334,000 jobs and $15 billion in wages.

the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and 14 people died. “The C.D.C. wants to prevent people from getting sick and the cruise lines want to go back to business and start making money,” said Tara Kirk Sell, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “So there’s going to be a central disconnect and tension there as we sort our way through this pandemic, which isn’t over yet, and we are still trying to figure out.”

Cruise Act bill that, if passed, would revoke the agency’s Conditional Sail Order and require it to issue new guidance to restart United States sailings. (Because of a quirk of maritime law, several major cruise lines have canceled all 2021 sailings to Alaska.)

“With the way this is going, it seems that the C.D.C. doesn’t want the cruise industry to be in business because they are not setting the rules in a manner that the cruise industry feels they can comply and safely return to work,” Senator Scott said in a telephone interview.

“Cruise lines clearly want their passengers and employees to be safe,” he continued. “They have been working all year to prepare their ships, but the C.D.C. has been very difficult to work with and if they don’t want to help then we’ll make sure they do it because we are going to pass this legislation.”

sued the federal government to demand cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, has maintained that the cruise ban has had a disproportionate impact on the state’s economy; cruises usually generates billions of dollars from the millions of passengers that pass through Florida’s ports each year.

“People are going to cruise one way or another. The question is are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations?” Gov. DeSantis said, speaking at a recent news conference at PortMiami.

Ms. Sell said she thinks the C.D.C.’s phased approach, where safety protocols are tested out before passengers are allowed back on onboard, is the right one.

“Cruises have for a long time had a potential to super spread diseases that include Covid because people are often in close quarters,” she said. “I’m not saying that you could never do cruises again, but that it just needs to be something where you sort through all the requirements.”

MSC Cruises, the industry’s fourth-largest operator, announced on Thursday that it would be canceling all U.S. cruises through June 30 and instead plans to have at least 10 ships sailing out of Europe and the Mediterranean by August. Royal Caribbean, the second-largest by passenger count, is sailing out of the Bahamas and Bermuda, among other places, and is requiring vaccinations for all crew and passengers.

Before vaccines were being widely distributed, cruises lines operating in Europe reported some Covid infections on board, but say that the cases were brought under control using stringent health and safety protocols, which prevented any larger outbreaks.

The C.D.C.’s advisory regarding cruise travel remains at a Level 4, the highest, and the agency recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide.

That’s because the chance of getting Covid-19 on cruise ships is high since the virus appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships,” the warning says.


Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places list for 2021.

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DeSantis Bans Agencies, Businesses From Requiring ‘Vaccine Passports’ in Florida

Florida has banned state and local government agencies and businesses from requiring so-called vaccine passports, or documentation proving that someone has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, issued an executive order on Friday prohibiting businesses from requiring patrons or customers to show vaccine documentation, or risk losing grants or contracts funded by the state. It was not immediately clear how the order applied to state and local government agencies.

Requiring proof of vaccination, the order says, would “reduce individual freedom” and “harm patient privacy,” as well as “create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.”

There has been much discussion about vaccine passports, a way to show proof that someone has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, though the passports raise daunting political, ethical and privilege questions. The Biden administration has made clear that it will neither issue nor require the passports, but Republicans have seized on the issue as an example of government overreach.

executive orders aimed at curbing the virus crisis called for government agencies to “assess the feasibility of linking Covid-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis” and creating electronic versions of them. A wide range of businesses, especially cruise lines and airlines, are eager to have a way for their customers to show proof of vaccination, especially as the number of new virus cases rises across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that about 101.8 million people — nearly one-third of the total U.S. population — had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. As of Friday, an average of nearly three million shots a day were being administered, according to data reported by the C.D.C.

“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” Mr. DeSantis said at a news conference on Monday.

Some other Republican governors have also come out against the passport concept. Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska issued a statement Wednesday saying that the state would not participate in any vaccine passport program, and Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri told reporters Thursday that he would not require vaccine passports in the state but was also not opposed to private companies adopting them.

The C.D.C. has issued guidance for fully vaccinated people that allows for the resumption of some activities in private settings. And on Friday, the agency said fully vaccinated Americans can travel “at low risk to themselves,” though federal health officials have urged people not to travel at all, unless they absolutely must.

New York, however, the state recently introduced a digital tool to allow people to easily show that they have either tested negative for the coronavirus or have been vaccinated in order to gain entry into some events and venues.

Walmart, last month, joined an international effort to provide standardized digital vaccination credentials to people. The company joins a push already backed by major health centers and tech companies including Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Cerner, Epic Systems, the Mitre Corporation and the Mayo Clinic.

Some colleges and universities have also begun setting vaccine requirements for the next school year. Cornell University issued a statement on Friday saying that vaccinations would be required for in-person attendance in the fall, and Rutgers University in New Jersey said last week that all students would need to be fully vaccinated to be allowed to return to campus in the fall, baring religious or medical reasons.

Mr. DeSantis’s order is likely to draw legal challenges, raising questions about the impact of two Supreme Court decisions. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the high court in 1905 upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. That ruling for more than a century has let public schools require proof of vaccinations of its students, with some exceptions for religious objections.

In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who had refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple on narrow grounds, and other courts have struggled with how to balance state laws barring discrimination against constitutional rights like free speech and the free exercise of religion. It is not clear that Florida businesses could invoke a constitutional right to refuse to comply with the new measure.

Some venues and events in Florida had already made plans to require vaccinations. The Miami Heat basketball team said it would give prime seating to vaccinated fans. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival said it would require proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to attend. Nova Southeastern University said it would mandate vaccinations for all faculty and staff members as of Aug. 1 to participate in on-campus learning.

It was not immediately clear on Friday what those businesses would do in response to the governor’s order.

Isabella Grullón Paz contributed reporting.

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California and Florida Prepare to Give Vaccine Access to All Adults

Governors across the United States are speeding up eligibility for coronavirus vaccines as the number of new cases nationally plateaus, adding more urgency to vaccination efforts.

California will open up vaccine eligibility on April 1 to any resident who is 50 or older, and will expand that to residents 16 or older on April 15, state officials announced on Thursday, saying they could do so because of increasing supplies of vaccine from the federal government. And Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced that any state resident who is 40 or older would be eligible starting on Monday, and that the minimum age would drop to 18 on April 5.

In Connecticut, which is among the most-vaccinated states in the country, Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that all residents 16 and above would be eligible beginning April 1. New Hampshire will make shots available to all residents 16 and older starting April 2, and North Carolina on April 7. In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee said the state was on track to make vaccines available to all residents over 16 by April 19.

Alaska, Mississippi, Utah and West Virginia are the only states where all adults are now eligible to receive shots, but many more have announced plans to expand eligibility on or before May 1, a goal set by President Biden. Some local jurisdictions have also begun vaccinating all adults.

2.5 million doses of vaccine a day. At that pace, about half of the nation’s population would be at least partially vaccinated by mid-May.

California will also allow health care providers to use their discretion to vaccinate family members of eligible people right away, even if the family members would not yet otherwise be eligible, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

State officials said they expected California to start receiving 2.5 million doses a week in the first part of April, and more than three million by the second half of the month, a major increase from the current pace of about 1.8 million doses a week.

Mr. Newsom has been under intense pressure for weeks to speed up the state’s vaccination efforts. Experts say his ability to fend off a recall campaign may hinge on vaccinating millions of residents and lifting remaining restrictions, so that the state will be closer to normal when voters are asked to decide his fate.

The governor has repeatedly said that short and unpredictable supplies have been to blame for what has been criticized as a confusing and chaotic vaccination process that has left many poorer communities to lag behind.

New York Times analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of new virus cases reported in Florida has been hovering around 4,600 a day in recent weeks, a level that health officials say is still too high, even though it has fallen significantly from a peak earlier this year.

The state’s efforts to reopen its tourism industry has not been without problems. In Miami Beach, local officials have been overwhelmed with spring break revelers who have ignored safety precautions like mask wearing and social distancing. It got so bad that the city imposed a curfew and sent police officers in riot gear to disperse crowds.

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