After Disney employees stage a walkout over the company’s response to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill, Disneyland and ESPN issue statements.
The “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, which prohibits “sexual orientation and gender identity training” for pupils in kindergarten through third grade, was recently enacted in Florida.
In response to the company’s reaction to the bill, Disney employees staged a walkout on Tuesday. Disneyland and ESPN both issued statements in support of the LGBTQIA+ community as a result of the incident.
According to NBC News, Disney employees throughout the country joined the walkout on Tuesday in protest of the CEO’s initial response to the measure, which was passed earlier this month. Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s initial answer drew criticism as he allegedly stated in a memo that the corporation could “create a more inclusive world through the inspiring material we create.”
“It is evident that this is not just an issue concerning a bill in Florida, but rather yet another affront to core human rights,” he stated in a statement on March 11th. I let you down when you wanted me to be a stronger ally in the battle for equal rights. Please accept my apologies.”
He also promised to stop giving to elected people in Florida.
“The recent words and lack of action by TWDC [The Walt Disney Co.] leadership over the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill have absolutely failed to match the gravity of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation,” employees added, despite his apologies. We’ve been thrown into an untenable and unsustainable situation. We must now take steps to persuade TWDC to defend its employees and their families in the face of such blatant intolerance.”
The walkout included not only corporate staff, but also some of the company’s top talent.
Raven Symoné posted a video of herself and her “Raven’s Home” co-stars taking part in the walkout on social media.
“We condemn any legislation that infringes on basic human rights, and stand in solidarity and support our LGBTQIA+ Cast, Crew, and Imagineers, as well as fans who make their voices heard today and every day,” Disneyland wrote in a statement posted to their social media website.
ESPN, which is owned by Disney, also expressed their displeasure with the situation, saying:
We’ll continue to partner with organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community, be accountable where we fall short of expectations, and never stop telling stories about LGBTQIA+ athletes, like the ones that we’ll be sharing in this thread.
— ESPN (@espn) March 22, 2022