Disney Staff Hold Walkout Over Company’s Response to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill | News
Disney staff and LGBTQ supporters staged a walkout at the company’s Burbank headquarters on Tuesday (22) in response to the company’s stance on Florida’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Employees gathered in the morning near the Bette Davis picnic area and numbered more than 70, according to reports. Their action came as a number of Disney companies, including Hulu, Disney+, National Geographic, FX and Disney Parks, posted messages of solidarity on social media.
“We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, storytellers, families, friends, and fans who are targeted by laws that marginalize and diminish their identity and lives,” reads a Hulu post. “We remain committed to telling inclusive stories that unite us and celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Disney staff staged virtual walkouts last week and protesters called on Disney, which employs thousands of people in Florida at its Disney World theme park, to take decisive action to block ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation. , which effectively prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the lower grades of Florida public schools.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek (pictured) has been criticized for his indecisive response to the bill. After an initial period of silence, Chapek apologized on March 10 for the company’s stance and said Disney would suspend political donations in the state.
The CEO also requested a meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose signature is all that is needed to pass the bill after it passes through both houses of the state legislature. Similar bills are on the table in other US states.
In an open letter on the “Where’s Chapek?” website, anonymous Disney employees wrote that Chapek’s statements had “completely failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ security posed by this legislation.” .
The letter called on Disney’s hierarchy to cut off all donations to DeSantis and others mentioned in the letter. Against a backdrop of Disney forcing some employees to move to Florida for work, the letter called for a workable plan to protect employees from “hate legislation.”
Points include: halting construction and investment in Florida “until hate legislation is repealed”; stopping efforts to move employees from California to Florida; issue a guarantee that no employee will be fired for refusing to relocate to Florida; and provide support to employees and their families who have already moved.
Recently, LGBTQIA+ Pixar employees and supporters released a statement that Disney was ordering scenes of same-sex affection to be cut from Pixar movies. Afterwards, it emerged that a homosexual kiss had been revived in the upcoming Toy story spin off Light year.