Videos posted on Twitter Tuesday by an investigative journalist appear to show multiple Disney officials pushing a progressive LGBT agenda on employees as the company finds itself in the middle of a political firestorm surrounding the parental rights bill, HB 1557, in Florida.
In videos posted by journalist Christopher F. Rufo, Disney officials can be seen talking to employees at an “all-hands” meeting about the Florida bill, recently signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and saying some teams at Disney have implemented an openly “gay agenda.”
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In another video, Disney’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager Vivian Ware explains to employees that the company is ditching the words ladies, gentlemen, boys, and girls in its theme parks in order to not alienate transgender children.
In a third video, an LGBT activist accuses Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his press secretary Christina Pushaw of trying to “erase” LGBT employees at Disney.
One of the videos shows a Disney official explaining that the company is committed to pushing “queer stories” and putting in place procedures to ensure that the company is creating enough “gender-nonconforming characters.”
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Disney corporate president Karey Burke said in another video that she would like to see at least 50% of Disney’s characters in the future identify as LGBT or a racial minority.
The Walt Disney Company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox Business.
The in-house videos of Disney pushing the progressive agenda come a week after some Disney employees walked off the job last week protesting a perceived lack of company opposition to a Florida bill that prohibits teachers from providing instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade classrooms.
“TWDC must publicly commit to an actionable plan that protects employees from hateful legislation,” the walkout group posted.
The actionable plan, according to the group, should reflect “commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community by stopping construction and investment in the state of Florida until hateful legislation is repealed” as well as “stopping any efforts to move employees to Florida office locations, ensuring employee safety and employment retention. Guaranteeing no employee will be terminated when denying relocation to FL.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek did not take a public position on the bill when it was first being debated in the Florida legislature but then apologized after backlash from the bill’s opponents and promised a pause on political donations in Florida and vowed Disney would contribute millions of dollars more to LGBTQ causes.
On Monday, following the announcement that DeSantis signed the bill, Disney released a statement slamming the move.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” the company said in a statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
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The seven-page bill does not ban the word “gay” in school settings and does not ban casual discussions of topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom but has nonetheless been referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by numerous media outlets and Democrat politicians.
“For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and that they are going to actively work to repeal it, I think, one, was fundamentally dishonest, but, two, I think that crossed the line,” DeSantis said at a Tuesday press conference in response to Disney’s statement.
DeSantis added, “This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives. They do not run this state. They do not control this state.”