Leaked videos of a recent Disney staff meeting revealed that company executives have been purposefully pushing an LGBTQ agenda for children’s animation.
Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau, an LGBTQ supporter herself, admitted that she was surprised at how accepting the company was to gay characters and storylines in the two episodes she directed of “The Proud Family” on Disney+.
“Our leadership … has been so welcoming to my not-at-all secret gay agenda,” she said. “… I don’t have to be afraid to, like, let’s have these two characters kiss in the background. I was just, wherever I could, just basically adding queerness [to projects]. … No one would stop me, and no one was trying to stop me.”
And Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, vowed to go even further in creating and promoting LGBTQ content.
“As a mother of two queer children—one transgender child and one pansexual child,” she told meeting attendees, “… I feel a responsibility to speak. … We have many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories, and yet we don’t have enough leads and narratives in which gay characters just get to be characters and not have to be about gay stories.”
According to the Toronto Sun, Burke later asserted that at least half of Disney’s future characters should be part of the LGBTQIA community or a visible minority.
The purpose for the staff meeting was to discuss the recently passed parental rights legislation in Florida, known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” policy. The law bans Florida teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics, like sexual orientation or gender identity, with elementary-aged students.
The Walt Disney Company took to Twitter March 28 to publicly oppose the legislation.
“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 statement reads.
“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.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.”
But at least one Disney employee disagrees with the company’s approach.
“It bothers me when I read public statements saying things like ‘we’ believe the bill shouldn’t have been passed,” Jose Castillo, a Disney resort duty manager, told Fox News. “I’ve been with Disney for 13 years and am proud of my role in the company. When the company uses words like ‘we’ it should mean all of the Cast Members, and right now, that’s not the case.
“ … I believe the current trajectory of the company—vowing to repeal this law—is missing the essence and the principles upon which Disney was founded,” he added.
Photo: Alexander Pohl/ZUMA Press/Newscom