Disney employees stage walkouts in protest of Florida's Don't Say Gay bill

Tallahassee, Florida - Disney workers at the company's headquarters and across the US staged walkouts on Tuesday to protest Florida's Don't Say Gay bill and Disney's reluctance to fight back.

Disney has been apprehensive to condemn Florida's Don't Say Gay bill.
Disney has been apprehensive to condemn Florida's Don't Say Gay bill.  © Collage: IMAGO / VWPics & Pius Koller

The walkouts have been organized by a group called Disney Walkout, frequently using the hashtag #DisneyDoBetter.

Protests took place in several Disney owned locations in California, New York, and Orlando, Florida.

In a statement from the group, they demand that Disney take a stronger stance against the bill, which prohibits the teaching of LGBTQ+ related issues to students grade three and under, and, "publicly commit to an actionable plan that protects employees from hateful legislation."

Today's horoscope: Free daily horoscope for Saturday, October 1, 2022
Daily Horoscope Today's horoscope: Free daily horoscope for Saturday, October 1, 2022

Disney Walkout also insists that Disney discontinues supporting politicians who back the bill and similar legislation.

Disney, a company that claims to support ideas of tolerance and inclusivity and produces programs to support them, has been slow to come out against Florida's Don't Say Gay Bill, much to the ire of fans and the company's employees.

DeSantis to sign the bill "relatively soon"

Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis plans to sign the Don't Say Gay bill "relatively soon."
Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis plans to sign the Don't Say Gay bill "relatively soon."  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

After initially refusing to take a position on the bill, Disney CEO Bob Chapek changed his tune during a shareholder meeting on March 9, during which he reportedly said: "We were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind the scenes engaging directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle."

The Don't Say Gay bill, which has not been signed yet, was proposed by state Representative Joe Hardingand and passed by the state's legislature on March 8. The state's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, said he plans to sign it "relatively soon."

Disney responded to the walkouts Tuesday via Instagram to show support and solidarity, saying they, "oppose any legislation that infringes on human rights."

The company also insisted that it stands in solidarity with "LGBTQIA+ Cast, Crew, and Imagineers and fans who make their voices heard today and every day."

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / VWPics & Pius Koller

More on the topic LGBTQ+: