No more “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls”.
As reported by Newsweek, Vivian Ware, Disney’s diversity and inclusion manager, made remarks in a video posted to Twitter yesterday. This video showed a meeting within the company about gender and inclusivity. The video comes as the company continues to find itself surrounded by controversy regarding Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which was recently signed into law. In the video, Ware gives a presentation with the title “reimagine tomorrow” on the side of the screen. Last summer, Ware said that Disney removed all gendered greetings in live spiels, narrations that accompany attractions. According to Ware along with the company, this new initiative is another step toward a more progressive and inclusive experience both inside and outside of the company.
“So we no longer say ‘ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,'” said Ware, “We’ve provided trainings for all of our our cast members and in relationship to that so now they know it’s, ‘hello everyone’ or ‘hello friends.'” Ware also said that Disney is currently in the process of changing its messaging within its parks. Phrases like “dreamers of all ages” have replaced “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” for announcements at the fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom in Florida.
According to Ware, removing gendered language from the Disney Parks has given Cast Members more opportunities to be creative, expressive, and personal when interacting with Guests. Ware also encouraged those within the meeting to think differently about how they can engage Guests “in a meaningful and inclusive way that makes it magical and memorable for everyone.”
“We want to create that magical moment with our cast members, with our guests,” she said. “And we don’t want to just assume because who someone might be in our interpretation, maybe presenting as female that they may not want to be ‘princess.'” Disney is far from the first organization or company to ditch gender-specific phrases and language but Disney faces its own special issues when doing so.
As stated above, the company has been at the center of a storm of backlash, criticism, and controversy regarding the new piece of Florida legislation. Many found the company’s initial response to be lacking and offensive, with CEO Bob Chapek eventually coming out on stage that the company was firmly against the new bill. This response was too little too late as a massive company walkout ensued days later. The bill was recently signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and has been presented as a “parents’ rights measure”. but critics say it has the potential to marginalize LGBTQ students.
Regardless, these changes will hopefully allow even more Guests, as well as Cast Members, to feel included while visiting the Parks
How do you feel about this change? Let us know in the comments below.
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