Lately, we have seen Disney progress towards a much more inclusive environment when it comes to both their theme parks and on-screen entertainment.
We have seen Cast Member dress code change when it comes to the “Disney Look,” allowing Cast Members to express themselves more while at work. It also allows more opportunity for others who want to work for Disney, as before the change, anyone with visible tattoos that they could not cover with a costume would not be allowed to work. This also existed for certain hairstyles, colors, piercings, nails, and more.
Disney’s College Program also opened up the option for participants to choose someone of the opposite gender to live with if they would like, to ensure that every participant has the best and most comfortable experience possible. On-screen, we are starting to see Disney normalize various family types and include characters in the LGBTQ+ community as both leading subjects or just casual characters.
The Walt Disney Company has created an all-new initiative called Reimagining Tomorrow: Where We All Belong. On the new website, it states:
At Disney, inclusion is for everyone.
Reimagine Tomorrow is our way of amplifying underrepresented voices and untold stories as well as championing the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment. Because we are all greater than a single story and we all deserve to feel seen, heard and understood.
There is then also a spot for visitors on the site to say what kind of stories they want the world to see. Once you select an option, you can learn more about someone or a project Disney highlights in that category.
Disney has also listed out their intentions for this new initiative.
- To make progress that ensures our workforce reflects the market.
- To establish inclusion standards across all Disney General Entertainment content. By 2022, 50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from underrepresented groups.
- Over $100M Charitable Giving to programs serving underrepresented communities (Fiscal Year 2020). To ensure we direct more than 50% of our annual charitable giving to programs serving underrepresented communities.
- To put the responsibility for an inclusive culture in the hands of our leaders and employees through comprehensive education and engagement efforts.
There is also a video on the website that helps break down stereotypes of people that many typically may place on others. Disney acknowledges that they have a large influence when it comes to shaping mindsets due to their films. The video admits that “We haven’t always gotten it right,” but it seems Disney has decided to learn from their past mistakes and move forward and learn from them.
We have already heard of the progress coming along on the new Princess and the Frog attraction that will replace Splash Mountain’s racist undertone scenes due to the Song of the South IP, as well as changing the storyline on both Walt Disney World Resort’s and Disneyland Resort’s Jungle Cruise attraction to ensure cultural appropriation disappears.
If you want to visit the new site for Reimagining Tomorrow, click here.
What do you think of Disney’s new initiative? How do you want to see it implemented, and what changes do you want to see?