An investigative journalist posted videos to Twitter showing several Disney employees supporting a progressive LGBT agenda. The company is embroiled in the political storm surrounding Florida’s HB 1557.
Christopher F. Rufo uploaded videos of Disney employees talking to each other during an “all hands meeting” regarding the Florida bill. Christopher F. Rufo recorded the video. Ron DeSantis stated that some Disney teams are openly gay.
In another video, Vivian Ware (Disney’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager) explains to employees why the company stopped using the terms ladies and gentlemen in its parks to prevent alienating transgender children.
Another video shows an LGBT activist accusing Florida’s Republican Governor. Ron DeSantis and Christina Pushaw, his press secretary, are accused of trying “to eliminate” LGBT employees from Disney.
One of the videos shows a Disney official explaining that the company is committed to pushing “queer stories” and putting in place procedures to ensure that the company is creating enough “gender-nonconforming characters.”
In another video, Karey Burke (Disney corporate president) stated that at least half the characters of Disney would identify themselves as LGBT/a race minority.
After Disney employees protested against the Florida bill banning teachers from teaching sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade classrooms, in-house videos of Disney supporting the progressive agenda were released.
The group that walked out stated that “TWDC must publicly promise to implement a program that protects employees from hateful legislation.”
The group stated that the plan must reflect the “commitment to the LGBTQIA+ Community by stopping construction and investment in Florida until hateful legislation is repealed”, and “stopping all attempts to move employees into Florida office spaces, ensuring employee safety and retention.” If FL relocation is denied, no employee will be fired.
After opposition backlash, Bob Chapek (Disney CEO) decided not to take a position on this bill. After apologizing, he promised to stop political donations in Florida. He also promised that Disney would donate millions to LGBTQ causes.
Disney released a statement condemning DeSantis’s signing.
The company issued a statement stating that Florida’s HB1557 (also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law) should not have passed and should have been repealed. As a company, we want the legislature to repeal or strike down this law. We will continue to support state and national organizations working towards this goal. We will continue to fight against the discrimination and violence faced by LGBTQ+ Disney family members as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.
The seven-page bill does not ban the use the term “gay” and does not prohibit casual discussion on topics relating to gender identity or sexual orientation in schools. However, many media outlets and Democrat politicians have referred to it as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”.
DeSantis stated, “This state is governed in accordance with the interests of the residents of Florida. It doesn’t reflect the wishes of California corporate executives. They don’t control the state. They don’t have control over the state.