Disney’s LGBTQ employees and their supporters have begun a full day of solidarity actions to call attention to the company’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Meanwhile, Disney companies including ESPN, Disney Plus and Hulu, released Twitter statements in support of the LGBTQ community and against “legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.” The statements come a week after Marvel Studios made the same gesture on social media.
Though most employees at Disney’s Burbank, Calif., headquarters have not returned to their offices, they are being asked to support the campaign by not working on Tuesday and sending messages on Slack and social media with the hashtags #DisneyDoBetter, #DisneySayTrans, #DisneySayGay and #WherelsChapek.
When reached by Variety, Disney Walkout organizers expressed concerns about safety and retaliation, both internally and externally, which have deterred the group from organizing formal in-person rallies.
On Twitter, Disney Walkouts affirmed their approval of the corporate messages shared today by Disney brands. “They were tirelessly advocated for by our own LGBTQIA+ co-workers to show support today,” they wrote. “It’s an act of magic and is a true marker of how far we’ve pushed.” Organizers also shared their gratitude for the support shown from allies, including ESPN anchors Elle Duncan, Carolyn Peck and Courtney Lyle, who all spoke up about the effort during their Mach Madness coverage, pulsing their broadcasts in solidarity last week.“ Most of those shows of support have been independent of our efforts – even we didn’t know they were happening!” they commented. “We’re pleased to have so many allies throughout the company.”
The week of actions kicked off last Monday with a statement from the LGBTQ community across the Walt Disney Company (including Disney Corporate, Disney Television Animation, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, Disney Streaming, Enterprise Finance, Enterprise Technology/Global Information Security and Bento Box).
The letter read, “The recent statements by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) leadership regarding the Florida legislature’s recent ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation.”
“We must now take action to convince TWDC to protect employees and their families in the face of such open and unapologetic bigotry,” the letter continued.
The group is asking Disney to indefinitely cease all donations to politicians supporting anti-gay legislation, as well as committing to stop construction and investment in the state of Florida until such legislation is repealed, stop efforts to move employees to Florida and guarantee no employees will be terminated for denying relocation to Florida.
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