State Watch

Disney employees planning walkout in protest of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation

Walt Disney Company employees are planning to stage a walkout in protest over the passing of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill as tensions continue over the company’s response to the divisive legislation. 

Disney employees are planning daylong walkouts on Tuesday, after some employees have conducted smaller walkouts every day since March 15

“The Walt Disney Company’s (TWDC) LGBTQIA+ community and their allies are determined to take a stand against TWDC’s apathy in the face of the bigoted ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans; bill put forth by the FL state legislature,” the group “Where is Chapek” said on its website

“The recent statements and lack of action by TWDC leadership regarding the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign the Parental Rights in Education bill, commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which was passed in the legislature last week.

The legislation bars educators in the state from talking about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary schools. Parents would be able to take legal action against school districts they believe have violated the measure.

In a previous statement, Disney CEO Bob Chapek apologized for remaining silent on the anti-LGBTQ bill, facing criticism from the company’s rank and file. 

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down,” Chapek said. “I am sorry.”

Several Disney media personalities have shown their support for the walkouts during televised broadcasts, according to ABC News

“We understand the gravity of this legislation and also how it is affecting so many families across this country, and because of that our allyship is going to take a front seat, and with that, we’re going to pause in solidarity,” ESPN personality Elle Duncan said in a statement, adding that several ESPN employees have participated in the daily walkouts as well. 

During the network’s coverage of the NCAA’s Division I Women’s basketball tournament, broadcasters Carolyn Peck and Courtney Lyle took a brief moment of silence in solidarity with their co-workers, ABC News reported.

“A threat to any human rights is a threat to all human rights,” Peck said during the March 18 broadcast.

Tags Bob Chapek Don't Say Gay bill ESPN Ron DeSantis The Walt Disney
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