Disney employees walkout to protest the company’s response to FL law

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On Tuesday, staged walkouts were planned at Disney to protest the Don’t Say Gay bill in Florida. If you remember, Disney CEO Bob Chapek really fumbled the response to the discriminatory bill. The company was called out for not only not doing enough to support the LGBTQIA+ community, but also for donating to politicians and causes that hurt the community. So fellow Mousers here in California decided to take a stand against their employer and in solidarity with their LGBTQIA+ co-workers by walking out.

Disney’s LGBTQ employees and their supporters are rallying virtually and in-person for a full day of solidarity actions to call attention to the company’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

A group of about 75 Disney employees gathered Tuesday morning at the Bette Davis Picnic Area, down the street from Disney’s Burbank studio, where they held signs and chanted “Disney say gay! We won’t go away!” and “We are queer! We are here!”

Several of the protesters said their supervisors had been generally supportive of the walkout. A lot of meetings had been rescheduled to accommodate the walkout.

At the rally in the park, several employees said it was important for the company to stop funding Florida legislators who supported the bill that prohibits instruction around gender identity and sexual orientation. But several also expressed concern that Disney been has transferring workers from California to Florida.

Though many employees at Disney’s Burbank, Calif., headquarters have not returned to their offices, they are being asked to support the campaign by not working on Tuesday and sending messages on Slack and social media with the hashtags #DisneyDoBetter, #DisneySayTrans, #DisneySayGay and #WherelsChapek.

[From Variety]

Some outlets are making more of the fact that there were <100 people who walked out. I guess they sent camera crews to the Disney HQ gates in Burbank and reported that no one showed up. However, that’s misrepresenting what really happened. First of all, as reported, they weren’t staging the gathering on the grounds, it was in a park off-site. Secondly, there are multiple Disney Studios locations and from the tweets below, it looks like a lot of people were involved. But this walkout was much more than those who left the building. Many Disney employees are still working virtually, and those people put Out Of Office auto responses up for the day saying they were not working in solidarity with the walkout. Others posted their ‘walkout’ to social media. In addition, corporations such as ESPN, Hulu, FX and even Disney itself coordinated statements of support to the LGBTQIA+ community on the day of the walkout. So the ‘walkout’ was much more that an actual physical exodus. I’m glad to read management accommodated the movement by rearranging meetings and offering general support. Of course, high profile Disney employees like Gabrielle Union have already spoken out against the company’s inaction. On Tuesday, Oscar Isaac, who stars in Disney’s Moon Knight, was asked about his opinion of the protest. Oscar replied:

I guess my comment would be [starts singing] gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gayyyyyy! Yeah, it’s an absolutely ridiculous law. It’s insane. It’s insanity. And I hope that Disney as a company comes out as forcefully as possible against this idea. It’s astounding that it even exists in this country.

[From Indie Wire]

I love the momentum this is getting. I hope it actually moves the company to do something. #DisneyDoBetter

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7 Responses to “Disney employees walkout to protest the company’s response to FL law”

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  1. Alarmjaguar says:

    Good for them! And Oscar Isaac is right, what insanity!! Gay, gay, gay

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Agreed. They’re trying so hard to make this bill about protecting children from “indoctrination”. The projection never ends with these people. They’re not only afraid of kids becoming attracted to the same sex, they’re afraid of kids accepting and becoming protective of the LGBTQ community. They don’t want any interference with their plot to quiverfull up the next generation of bigots.

  2. Izzy says:

    They can try to downplay it, but an animated film takes a lot of time and manpower, so to have a bunch of their staff walk off the job puts a crimp in production and like any other movie, time is money. So a walkout will still hit Disney in the wallet, even if it’s just a small ding.

  3. Twin Falls says:

    I read elsewhere that Disney is in the process of relocating the Imagineers from CA to FL and I’d be kicking and screaming about having to relocate to Fl right now.

  4. Ashley L. says:

    In addition to the walk out of employees who report physically and the virtual walk out of people who are still remote, I noticed on Instagram yesterday celebrities, such as Kerry Washington and Natasha Rothwell (Kelli on Insecure for those who don’t know), who have worked for Disney owned corporations such as ABC, posted messages in support. So this was definitely more than just a simple walkout and received wide ranging support, which is great. I hope they don’t let up.

  5. whatWHAT? says:

    I know they’d never do it, but wouldn’t it be awesome if Disney shut down their theme parks in FL until the law was repealed?

    Florida would lose SO MUCH MONEY. as would Disney and that’s why they’d never do it.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      They could offer “I support LGBTQ” arm bands with a barcode. At every ride or attraction if you are wearing it, staff can scan it and your name gets entered in a drawing. At the end of the day they can draw a name and refund that party’s tickets. If there are four people in your group, then you get a refund check for all four tickets, even though only one person’s name is drawn.