The Disney Walkout Gains Momentum as LGBTQIA+ Employees and Allies Take a Stand

The Disney Walkout Gains Momentum as LGBTQIA+ Employees and Allies Take a Stand
Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images, Getty Images

Everyone is looking at Disney to do better — a lot better — as cast members and allies participate in organised walkouts to represent LGBTQIA+ people and families affected by the company’s reluctance to create real change.

Forcing the move of its Imagineering department from California to Florida as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill was making headlines spurred employees and the public to denounce Disney’s political donations to lawmakers who support the bill. The situation wasn’t helped by Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s fumbled response to the outcry, and there’s now considerable pressure on the company to put into action mandates to protect and better represent the LGBTQIA+ community.

Last week, organisers Disney Walkout outlined a letter listing areas of concern companywide and asked leadership to pull funding from the supporters of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida.

Today, employees and allies are marching outside of the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney World, and digitally through the rapidly trending movement on social media to protest Disney not putting policies in place to back up its apologies.

Disney has so far remained silent, however, on other damaging legislation. It’s why its decision to “pause” political donations in Florida makes some worry that when the story dies down, the company could just resume its political funding. Here’s DuckTales writer Benjamin Siemon and others sharing concerns to that effect on Twitter:

Solidarity from #ANewDealForAnimation, a movement for better animation contracts, has joined in. Additionally, various public figures at Disney Animation, Disney Pictures, Pixar, and Lucasfilm have spoken out online to support and help draw more visibility to the movement. Even Oscar Isaac, star of Marvel’s Moon Knight, gave a statement to Variety during this week’s press tour.

This includes main pages for many of Disney’s subsidiaries (missing in action so far: Lucasfilm), though these statements are yet to be backed up by policy at large.

Pixar has recently announced that it will be adding a same-sex romantic kiss — previously cut from the final film — back into the upcoming animated film Lightyear.

We will continue to update as things evolve.

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