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Celebrities & employees showed their anger for Disney with massive walkout

Raven-Symoné and the cast of Raven's House walked out in support of LGBTQ people.
Raven-Symoné and the cast of Raven's House walked out in support of LGBTQ people. Photo: Screenshot

On Tuesday, Disney employees across the country participated in a walk out to protest the company’s lackluster response to Florida’s discriminatory “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

It is difficult to determine how many employees participated, since some did so virtually, but at the very least, small groups of employees from Pixar to Disneyland to Walt Disney Animation Studios showed their solidarity in person by walking off the job to demand that Disney to more to protect its LGBTQ employees.

Related: DeSantis’s press secretary says anyone who opposes Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill is a pedophile

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Others, including some Disney-affiliated celebrities, expressed their support on Twitter.

Actress Kerry Washington, who works for ABC, posted a message that she is happy to be part of the Disney family but that “sometimes family members disagree” and “this is one of those times.”

“I don’t condone the actions or inactions of Disney in this moment,” Washington continued. “I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQIA+ employees, and stand with them in this walk out today. Please know that you matter. Your rights matter. Your voices matter. I encourage you all to help their voices ring louder today.”

Mark Ruffalo wrote, “Standing proud and in solidarity with our LBGTQIA+ family! #SayGay”

Out actress Raven-Symoné, along with the cast of her Disney Channel show Raven’s Home, participated in person, walking off their set.

She posted a video on Instagram expressing her hatred for the bill, adding in the caption, “In support of our LGBTQ+ family and all of those who will be damaged by the ‘don’t say gay bill’ we the cast of Ravens Home are walking out. In todays world it is imperative that we take stands, show support, and move forward not backwards. Every family every person and every child deserves to be recognized no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Education that reflects the truth and the world we live in is something we must fight for.”


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The controversy began when it was revealed that Disney had donated money to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill’s main sponsors. In addition, Chapek initially refused to publicly condemn the measure. He wrote that “corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds” and “are often weaponized by one side or the other to further divide and inflame.” Instead, he highlighted the company’s commitment to telling diverse stories.

Chapek then said he would meet Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to discuss somehow preventing the bill from being weaponized against LGBTQ people. In response, DeSantis said that he refused to bow down to “woke corporations” and released a video accusing LGBTQ people of trying to  “inject transgenderism into kindergarten.”

Trying to do damage control, Disney said it would donate $5 million to  the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other LGBTQ rights organizations. HRC rejected its donation and said Disney needed to take more direct action to combat the bill.

Soon after, employees at Pixar claimed that Disney censors LGBTQ content and that executives had cut every attempt to show same-sex affection or LGBTQ characters.

Chapek eventually apologized to employees for not denouncing the bill, and has since taken a stronger stance against it. But for many, it’s simply too late.

On Monday, Disney released a statement to CNN stating, “This morning we held a virtual company-wide conversation on anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and Disney’s response to it. We know how important this issue is for our LGBTQ+ employees, their families and allies, we respect our colleagues’ right to express their views, and we pledge our ongoing support of the LGBTQ+ community in the fight for equal rights.”

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