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Bob Chapek’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Memo Slammed by Employees

As the Walt Disney Co. takes heat for a report detailing how the company has financially backed all of the sponsors of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay”…

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As the Walt Disney Co. takes heat for a report detailing how the company has financially backed all of the sponsors of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, employees and artists associated with Disney have taken to social media to criticize its response to the bill.

Particularly upsetting many staffers is CEO Bob Chapek’s memo expressing “unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ+ community” despite the lack of a public statement opposing the bill, which would limit discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

The email, which Chapek sent to Disney staffers on Monday, reads: “In terms of our communities, we are and will continue to be a leader in supporting organizations that champion diversity. In 2021, we provided nearly $3 million to support the work of LGBTQ+ organizations. And, we have a long history of supporting important events like Pride parades.” Directly addressing Disney’s silence on the bill, Chapek added, “I do not want anyone to mistake a lack of statement for a lack of support. We all share the same goal of a more tolerant, respectful world. Where we may differ is in the tactics to get there.”

The reaction from Disney-affiliated individuals has been a mix of disappointment and frustration.

“[Disney is] starting to include more LGBT characters that let kids know that being gay is all right. But when they have donated to the sponsors and co-sponsors of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and they have made no position against this bill, and they are going to continue donating to these politicians, they are essentially saying that this bill is OK,” said animation writer Benjamin Siemon in a video posted on Twitter. “This bill is going to hurt kids, and that’s why I’m asking Disney to please take a position on the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and say that it’s wrong and say that you’re going to stop donating to the politicians that vote for it.”

“I’m gay! I work for Disney feature animation! Disney needs to support the people making the content AND the families we’re making them for! Silence is unacceptable!” tweeted character technical designer Cameron Black in response to Siemon’s video.

“I LOVED being a part of a Disney Channel show known for featuring gay characters AND storylines,” said “Andi Mack” actor Lilan Bowden, also quoting Siemon’s post. “The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill will be DETRIMENTAL to LGBTQIA+ kids. I’m with [Siemon], hoping the company or more ppl in the company take action against this hateful bill. #DisneySayGay.”

“Never been quiet about my love of Disney over the years but being loud about my own identity as a queer human took YEARS,” tweeted Brock Powell, a voice actor featured in “Mickey Mouse Funhouse,” “Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Across the Universe” and “Baymax Dreams.” “Breaks me in pieces that a company that literally pays me to speak is paying to keep me silent by funding puritanical Anti-LGBTQIA+ politicians.  #DisneySayGay.”

Drew Z. Greenberg, a writer for “Agents of SHIELD,” tweeted, “I’m a huge Disney fan as is well documented on this site. Even I say this statement is weak.”

Dana Terrace, known for creating “The Owl House,” directing on the “DuckTales” reboot and storyboarding for “Gravity Falls,” tweeted, “I’m fucking tired of making Disney look good so who’s ready for another charity livestream?” She posted a video elaborating on her thoughts, saying, “Disney was recently found out to be donating large sums of money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to the sponsors and co-sponsors of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, a bill that effectively tells LGBT+ kids, ‘You don’t exist. You don’t deserve to exist. You shouldn’t even be talked about.’”

“It is so frustrating that us LGBT Disney employees have to speak up about existing and wanting other people in our community to be safe, in fear for our livelihoods. If the company is so dedicated to inclusion, why is standing up for the safety of LGBT youth, at odds with it,” tweeted Sam King, who directs “The Ghost and Molly McGee.”

The post Bob Chapek’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Memo Slammed by Employees appeared first on REPORT DOOR.

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