Disney workers are planning daily walkouts during their breaks this week to protest CEO Bob Chapek’s lack of response to a new Florida law falsely labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The walkouts are expected to last through next Tuesday at Disney’s California and Florida locations, according to a website created by some of the disgruntled employees.
“Starting Tuesday March 15th through Monday March 21st we will begin scheduled walkouts during a 15 minute break period,” the walkout plan said at WhereIsChapek.com.
“These will take place at 3:00PM-3:15PM respective to the employees timezone,” it added. “Then on Tuesday March 22nd we will engage in a full stage walkout.”
The group’s list of “demands” for Disney includes a commitment to “immediately and indefinitely cease all campaign donations to these politicians involved in the creation or passage of the ‘don’t say gay or trans’ bill.” The list includes Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican state Sens. Ben Albritton and Dennis Baxley, and a list of other state GOP leaders.
The group also “demands” Chapek “publicly commit to an actionable plan that protects employees from hateful legislation.” This commitment would include “stopping construction and investment in the state of Florida until hateful legislation is repealed.”
The bill, falsely called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, refers to the “Parental Rights in Education” bill recently passed by the Florida legislature. The bill states, “[c]lassroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”
The bill does not specifically use the word “gay.” The new law instead removes classroom instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity for Florida’s K-3rd grade students.
Activists continue their walkout plans regardless, which could potentially include a large influence, depending on the level of participation. The Miami Herald noted the sizable influence of Disney’s workforce in the Sunshine State.
“As the state’s largest private-sector employer — Walt Disney World outside Orlando had more than 75,000 workers before the coronavirus pandemic — Disney has contributed huge amounts of money to Florida’s political parties and politicians and has wielded incredible influence on the state’s government,” it noted.
“At the beginning of last week, Chapek sent a message to Disney workers affirming the company’s support for LGBTQ rights but also saying that corporate statements often don’t do much to change minds and can be ‘weaponized’ by either side.” the report added.
Disney’s Marvel Studios also released a statement against the bill.
“We strongly denounce any and ALL legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community,” the company shared on its official Twitter page. “Marvel Studios stands for hope, inclusivity and strength; and we proudly stand with the community.”
The statement continued, “Today, we pledge to continue our strong commitment as allies who promote the values of equality, acceptance and respect.”
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) March 15, 2022
DeSantis remained undeterred by Disney’s criticism of the state’s parental notification bill as of last week, the governor’s press secretary said, as The Daily Wire previously reported:
Spokeswoman Christina Pushaw confirmed that Disney contacted the governor’s office to speak with DeSantis, saying that this is “the first time we have heard from Disney regarding HB 1557.”
“The governor did take the call from Mr. Chapek,” she said, referring to Disney CEO Bob Chapek. “The governor’s position has not changed. No in-person meeting has been scheduled yet.”
“Disney is known as a family-friendly company that creates wholesome entertainment for kids,” she continued. “The same Florida parents who take their families to Disney also support parental rights in education, because they do not want their young children exposed to inappropriate content about sex and gender theory at school. We expect Mr. Chapek will carefully consider their concerns.”
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