The 'Disney Walkout' that wasn't: mass action against 'Don't Say Gay' bill fizzles at Walt Disney World

click to enlarge The 'Disney Walkout' that wasn't: mass action against 'Don't Say Gay' bill fizzles at Walt Disney World
Photo via Disney

An action on behalf of LGBTQ employees of The Walt Disney Company was hyped for a week by organizers, who hoped to pressure Disney to protect its LGBT employees in the wake of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill. But when the time came to walk out at Orlando's Walt Disney World, no rally was apparent.

Only one employee could be found protesting at the Orlando outpost of Disney's parks. 27-year-old Nicholas Maldonado stood in front of the park's entrance holding a sign that said "Trans rights are human rights."

Maldonado works at Disney’s Character Warehouse and occasionally inside a park gift shop. He told the Orlando Sentinel that he hopes the company would do more in the future for its LGBTQ employees.

“Hopefully, down the road I can say that I’m proud to be an out LGBTQ cast member for the Walt Disney Company, and I will continue to work and make the magic that I was hired to do,” said Maldonado. “But at this point, the company needs to do better. They have a long ways to go towards gaining our trust back.”

The company posted to their official Facebook page for the Magic Kingdom on the morning of the protest, supporting their employees' right to express their concerns.

"We oppose any legislation that infringes on basic human rights, and stand in solidarity and support our LGBTQIA+ Cast, Crew, and Imagineers and fans who make their voices heard today and every day," they wrote.

A protest of around 100 employees protested in Burbank, CA, near the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

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