Disney is finding itself under fire from many different angles after taking a soft stance on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The legislation was passed on Tuesday and has made its way to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk, which the Republican governor has expressed his support for.
The bill prohibits “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in elementary schools, which Pixar employees have said counteract what the reportedly progressive company has represented in the past. LGBTQIA+ Pixar employees released a public statement on Wednesday that revealed their shock and disappointment. “We hoped that our company would show up for us. But it didn’t,” the statement reads. The press release also alleges that Disney has censored specific LGBTQIA + scenes and storylines in their movies, too.
2. Chapek claims content is the way it supports the LGBTQ community
In the letter, @Pixar staff says "[n]early every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at @Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive
leadership at Pixar." pic.twitter.com/6qSC4rC1xB
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 10, 2022
“We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were,” the statement continues. “Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.” The employees also go on to reveal that “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney ’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.” The company released Out in 2020, a short film that focuses on a man’s coming-out story to his parents, and even back in 2016, Finding Dory had a crowd scene featuring a lesbian couple (don’t blink, it’s that quick). There are definitely LGBTQIA + moments in their content, but it’s clear the Pixar employees have pushed for more.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek addressed the legislation at the company’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday, saying, “I understand our original approach, no matter how well-intended, didn’t quite get the job done,” via CNN Business. He has already spoken to DeSantis and is expected to meet with him to discuss his concerns that the pending law “could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary and transgender kids and families.” For many of the Disney and Pixar employees, it feels like too little, too late — and Chapek has yet to acknowledge the accusation of the Pixar employees when it comes to LGBTQIA+ scenes. The CEO has a lot to answer for, and right now, it’s not a good look for Disney.
Before you go, click here to see our favorite LGBTQ couples on TV.