Disney executives Bob Chapek and the rest of the board of directors believed their March 11 apologies for the House of Mouse’s bungled response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation would appease their employees; they might reconsider.
“Due to a lack of compassion and advocacy, TWDC’s LGBTQIA+ community and allies are determining to take a stand via many direct actions, including both virtual and in-person protests.
The first is on Tuesday, and the second is on Wednesday. March 15,” according to an open letter from a self-described “Disney Employee.”
Disney has a significant presence in Florida, where the House and Senate pass the Parental Rights in Education bill (HB 1557). The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as called by detractors, restricts how gender identity and sexual orientation are discussed in schools and outright prohibits the topics until third grade. Governor Ron DeSantis has yet to sign into law, though he expects to do so.
The Orlando Sun-Sentinel claimed that Disney backed every legislator who sponsored the bill. Thus, the firm chastising for not opposing it right away (the company noted it donates to Democratic and Republican lawmakers). On Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign announced that it would refuse to receive donations from Disney unless the company took “real action” on the bill. Variety published a letter from “the LGBTQIA+ employees of Pixar, and their allies” the same day, alleging that Disney executives demanded the studio remove “every moment of gay affection” from their content.
“regardless of when both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar protest.”
Netflix’s employee’s response
The planned walkouts are sets to begin today at 3-3:15 p.m. in each staffer’s respective time zone and continue daily at the same time in each staffer’s separate time zone until March 21, like many Netflix employees’ response to anti-Trans barbs in Dave Chappelle’s The Closer last year. On March 22, there will be a large-scale walkout.
Due to Covid-19 safety rules, most non-theme park Disney employees are working from home or on set today, don’t expect a large crowd outside the Burbank gates.
The warning of Magic Kingdom
“You are protected to act while on break for the daily break walkouts,” the site added, “but the full-scale walkout on Tuesday, March 22 is not a protected activity.” “Before you decide to engage, consider your situation.”
When contacted by Deadline today, Disney declined to comment on the subject.
The letter claims to be writing in “collaboration with members of the LGBTQIA+ community across Disney Corporate, Disney Television Animation, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Media, and Entertainment Distribution, Disney Streaming, Enterprise Finance, Enterprise Technology/Global Information Security, Bento Box,” according to the letter.