According to the official account representing Disney Cast Members participating in the company walkout, Cast Members are not allowed to show support by wearing pride or trans Disney merchandise.
Today is one of the biggest days in Disney Parks and Disney Company news, with the controversy and backlash surrounding the company’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill coming to a head with a company-wide walkout happening after today.
This walkout comes at the end of a vicious news cycle which involved the Walt Disney Company receiving near-constant negative press and heavy criticism. The company failed to denounce the new piece of legislation in a satisfactory manner for lots of Disney fans and employees alike, alienating them from the higher-ups. And speaking of higher-ups, to many, these issues can be attributed to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, as he failed to make a statement about the bill until it was too late.
Although Chapek pledged $5 to the Human Rights Campaign, this act was not enough with the organization rejecting the donation until “more meaningful action” was taken. For those that may not know, Florida recently passed a piece of new legislation that many have started calling the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. While not officially labeled “Don’t Say Gay”, this piece of legislation is as simple as the title given to it. As stated by NPR, “The legislation prohibits any instruction about sexuality or gender between kindergarten and third grade, or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
While Disney prides itself as a progressive and inclusive company, the company failed to denounce the new bill while actually supporting several backers of the new legislation. Disney preaches inclusivity within its Parks, movies, entertainment, and advertisement, so it may come as a surprise that the company has actually helped to fund supporters of this “don’t say gay” bill. The Senate sponsor, Ocala Republican Dennis Baxley, has actually backed anti-gay legislation in Florida for years. Baxley once compared kids with same-sex parents to kids raised by alcoholics and abusers, saying: “I’m not phobic, but I simply can’t affirm homosexuality.”
The next year, The Walt Disney Company wrote Baxley a check, with the most recent one coming in last year.
These are just a few of the events that have taken place over the last few weeks and now, Disney employees are showing how they feel in a very public way. Last week, an employee walkout was planned and it starts today. Ahead of the walkout,As however, the Twitter account created for the walkout claimed that Cast Members are not allowed to wear pride or trans merch as a way to show support:
(1/3) We have been informed that Disneyland Cast Members who do not feel safe to fully walkout tomorrow are being told they cannot even wear pride/trans Mickey pins to show support. Standing in stark contrast to the words of “inclusion” spoken by Chapek today in the town hall.
(1/3) We have been informed that Disneyland Cast Members who do not feel safe to fully walkout tomorrow are being told they cannot even wear pride/trans Mickey pins to show support.
Standing in stark contrast to the words of "inclusion" spoken by Chapek today in the town hall.
— Disney Walkout (@DisneyWalkout) March 21, 2022
The account followed this tweet up with another one:
(2/3) These are the Mickey pins that Disney themselves sells. They want us to feel “safe” but then sell our identities as brands for profit while preventing those same identities from existing in their own company.
(2/3) These are the Mickey pins that Disney themselves sells.
They want us to feel "safe" but then sell our identities as brands for profit while preventing those same identities from existing in their own company.
— Disney Walkout (@DisneyWalkout) March 21, 2022
And finally, one last tweet calling out Disney leadership:
This all happening while many sectors of the company have been internally supportive of employees walking out tomorrow. Front-line workers, the most vulnerable of us, not given the respect they deserve is shameful. #DisneyDoBetter #DisneySayTrans #DisneySayGay #WhereIsChapek\
This is especially troubling as it seemed that Disney was trying to reverse the negative press they were getting after this “botched” response to the bill a few weeks ago. With the walkout happening soon, it is unknown what the future holds for the company in the coming months, days, or even hours.
How do you feel about the company’s response to the bill?
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