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Disney Employees Stage Walk Out Over Company’s Stance On Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Mar 23, 22
Disney Employees Stage Walk Out Over Company’s Stance On Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

TinyMart is sharing this content, the original was posted on BLAVITY by  Danteé RamosMarch 22, 2022 at 11:36 pm, So please click here to go there

A slew of Disney employees and LGBTQ allies call Disney to show support for LGBTQ employees following Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, schools must inform parents of students’ sexual orientation and place a notification deadline for the institutions. The bill also bans teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity from grades kindergarten to third grade. Parents would also be able to sue schools for teaching gender identity lessons.

The Walt Disney Company employees are planning to stage a walkout to protest Disney’s lack of LGBTQ support and Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill. Bands of employees have participated in brief strikes since Tuesday, Mar. 15, from 3 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. 

Today, protesters staged a full-length walkout from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a list of demands for Disney.

“We want action,” Nicholas Maldonado, a Disney team member, told USAToday.

In a list of demands on the protest website, protesters asked Disney to “immediately and indefinitely cease all campaign donations” to Florida politicians linked to the bill.

The website also suggested solutions and “commit to an actionable plan” that would protect the futures of Disney LGBTQ employees.

“The Walt Disney Company’s (TWDC) LGBTQIA community and their allies are determined to take a stand against TWDC’s apathy in the face of the bigoted ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill put forth by the FL state legislature,” the protest’s website shared.

“The recent statements and lack of action by TWDC leadership regarding the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA safety represented by this legislation,” the website added.

According to ABC, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has been scrutinized for his lack of acknowledgment and commentary on the legislation in his public statements.

In response to comments surrounding his lack of support, Chapek has promised to donate $5 million to LGTBQ+ rights groups and has let protesters aware that he has spoken to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.

“We are hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values,” Chapek said in an email to Disney employees.

“I am committed to this work and to you all and will continue to engage with the LGBTQ+ community so that I can become a better ally,” he added.

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights,” he wrote.

Students have also joined forces with Disney employees protesting against the legislation. In Orange County, over 500 students walked out on Monday at Winter Park High School, following behind several other high schools around Florida who also held protests on Thursday and Friday.

High School juniors Will Larkins and Maddi Zornek organized the massive high school walkout. The walkout began with several students leaving class at 9 a.m. ET, chanting, “We say gay!” and holding “protect trans kids” signs.

“We wanted to show our government that this isn’t going to stop. There were walkouts all last week. This is going to continue. If this passes, there will be protests everywhere,” Larkins told CNN. “We wanted to get the attention of our representatives, our senators because the point is to show them that we are the ones in power. The people are the ones in power, and what they’re doing doesn’t represent us, especially marginalized groups.”

Waiting for the legislative vote of approval or denial is still in the works.

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