Last week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek botched their reaction to Florida’s contentious bill dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.” Now, some of the company’s employees are staging a walkout against the bill and Disney for its response. The Florida measure, passed by the state legislature but has yet to be signed into law, prohibits instructors from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade. It is unknown how many workers are participating, but according to a person familiar with the situation, Disney’s LGBTQ+ employee assistance organizations are not involved.
The LGBTQIA+ workers and allies at The Walt Disney Company are standing in solidarity together over the coming weeks. Here is our open statement and website.https://t.co/hdvFds7Bw6
Petition: https://t.co/B6OWRGmlTF#DisneyDoBetter #DisneySayTrans #DisneySayGay #WhereIsChapek pic.twitter.com/uhQLMl5FJG
— Disney Walkout (@DisneyWalkout) March 14, 2022
Organizers of the walkout claimed in an open letter posted on their website about Disney’s leadership’s remarks about the bill, “Due to the lack of compassion and advocacy, TWDC’s LGBTQIA+ community and their allies are determined to take a stand via multiple direct actions, including both virtual and in-person protests – the first of which will take place on Tuesday, March 15th,” (read the full document here).
The organizers noted that they appreciated Chapek’s apology but maintained “still more work to be done” and gave some suggestions on how Disney can take steps to “regain the trust of the LGBTQIA+ community and employees.”