On March 22, Disney Cast Members around the country are planning to stage a massive “Disney Do Better” walkout. The walkout is being done to protest Disney’s handling of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill. The bill has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics who are worried the bill would unfairly target the LGBTQ+ community. The Florida bill is poised to be signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, and now other states are following with bills of their own.
Those in charge of the Disney Do Better Walkout have created a Twitter profile where they keep followers updated on what is going on with Cast Members. According to the account, Disneyland Cast Members are informing them that they are being told they cannot wear pride pins in support of the walkout. What is upsetting to so many about this is not that Disney won’t let them wear the pins. It is that these pins are for sale in many of the shops around Disney Parks.
The account sent out the following message:
(1/3) We have been informed that Disneyland Cast Members who do not feel safe to fully walkout tomorrow are being told they cannot even wear pride/trans Mickey pins to show support. Standing in stark contrast to the words of “inclusion” spoken by Chapek today in the town hall.
(2/3) These are the Mickey pins that Disney themselves sells. They want us to feel “safe” but then sell our identities as brands for profit while preventing those same identities from existing in their own company.
(2/3) These are the Mickey pins that Disney themselves sells.
They want us to feel "safe" but then sell our identities as brands for profit while preventing those same identities from existing in their own company.
— Disney Walkout (@DisneyWalkout) March 21, 2022
News of the inability to support those Cast Members walking out by wearing pride pins came not long after Disney CEO Bob Chapek hosted a last-minute virtual town hall. During this town hall, Chapek reiterated the company’s support of the LGBTQ+ community and said that the company would be working harder to actively fight certain legislation. Disney has already paused political donations in Florida, but has not said if or how they will fight the Texas bill.
While Chapek has been working hard to make his staff believe that he is their ally, it seems as though it may be too late. Many Disney employees find his words hollow and want the company to take more action. While everything has happened relatively quickly, Disney has still not said how they will fight more for its LGBTQ+ allies. However, some consider the paused political donations a positive first step, but think Disney needs to do more.