A group of LGBTQ Disney employees are staging virtual and in-person walkouts in response to the company's handling of Florida's recently passed "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Organizers are posting about the planned interruptions via a Twitter account called Disney Walkout. They posted an open letter to the company stating their concerns and demands and shared a website (WhereIsChapek.com) that collected criticisms of CEO Bob Chapek, employee testimonies, a walkout schedule and their demands.
“The recent statements by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) leadership regarding the Florida legislature’s recent ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation,” organizers wrote in an open letter explaining the walkouts. “Primarily, those statements have indicated that leadership still does not truly understand the impact this legislation is having not only on cast members in the state of Florida, but on all members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the company and beyond."
They demand that Disney immediately cease all donations to the architects of the legislation, including a list of names. The company has announced a temporary pause on all donations until they can rethink the way that they give to politicians.
"A temporary pause is not enough - we require a commitment," organizers wrote. "[The Walt Disney Company] must immediately and indefinitely cease all campaign donations to these politicians."
The organizers are also asking for further employee protections, including acceptance of refusal from employees to move to Florida. They call for donations to The Trevor Project and other LGBTQ charities as a mea culpa for their failed strategy to combat the legislation. They also ask that Disney create a separate brand for LGBTQ creators.
The walkouts began this week during 15-minute break periods. This leads to an hour-plus long walkout next Monday and a full-day walkout on Tuesday.
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