On March 22, thousands of Disney Cast Members participated in a company-wide walkout. Employees at Pixar and LucasFilm followed suit to show their support. The walkout was in protest of how the Walt Disney Company handled the controversial Florida Parental Rights in Education bill. Disney — under the orders of CEO Bob Chapek — had remained mum on the issue before issuing a statement that many felt said nothing. Then, by the time the company did speak out against the bill, it was too late. No matter what the company — or Bob Chapek — said, the damage had been done.
The Disney Do Better walkout was supported by not only thousands of Disney employees but also Disney fans, who were disappointed with the company’s response. They took to social media to show their support. Among those sharing support were some notable Disney, ABC, and Marvel stars. Kerry Washington — star of the hit ABC Scandal — not only shared her support, but also encouraged people to sign the Cast Members petition on the Disney Do Better Walkout webpage.
For a long time, as an employee of ABC, I have been part of the Disney corporate “family”. It’s a creative and professional community that I am often happy and proud to be a part of. But sometimes family members disagree.
THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES.
I don’t condone the actions or inactions of Disney in this moment. 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.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) March 22, 2022
Marvel star Mark Ruffalo retweeted Washington’s tweet and shared that he also stood with Disney Cast Members in their walkout.
Standing proud and in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ family!
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) March 22, 2022
A number of other top executives at Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar also tweeted their support. Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu all shared that they supported the LGBTQ+ community before the walkout as well. One day before the walkout, Chapek hosted a virtual company town hall. He again apologized for the way the company handled the bill and denounced it once more.
Disney has currently paused all political donations in Florida, and Chapek has said that he wants to work with Governor Ron DeSantis on the bill. DeSantis said that no in-person meeting had been scheduled with Chapek. He also slammed the company’s business dealings with China and claimed Disney was doing this in an attempt to be “woke”.