Why is Disney facing walkouts for the Don't Say Gay Bill?
by Jaskiran Kaur | Sat, 19 Mar 2022 18:06:19 GMT
Disney faces a week of in-person and virtual walkouts for Don't Say Gay Bill; Credits: Indiewire

Disney is facing a week of planned walkouts as a group of employees has decided to protest the "Don't Say Gay" Bill of the studio. The Bill was handled by CEO Bob Chapek, leading to widespread angst against the alleged bill. 

The employee in-person and virtual walkout was announced by a Twitter account named Disney Walkout. The call for the walkout asked the LGBTQIA+ workers of the studio and the allies to walkout on Disney and show their solidarity against The Walt Disney Company. 

The movement is expected to run for the next few weeks. 

The Twitter post was paired with an open letter acknowledging all the Walt Disney Company employees that are recognized as supporters or members of the LGBTQ community. The walkout will include other Disney corporations like Disney Corporate, Disney Television Animation, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Media, and Entertainment Distribution, Disney Streaming, Enterprise Finance, Enterprise Technology/Global Information Security, and Bento Box.

The walkout called Disney for failing its LGBTQIA+ members with the recently proposed "Don't Say Gay" Bill under the Florida legislature by The Walt Disney Company ( TWDC ). They accused the company of overlooking the "magnitude of the threat" this bill would pose for their workers. 

Of course, the bill would also impact the welfare of the cast members who identify from the community along with regular workers and people beyond the studio. The organizers were mindful that Bob Chapek had already tried issuing an apology to the workers.

 Yet the harm can not be done with a single apology not. A lot is yet left unattended with bills like these. 

The workers are insisting that Disney takes steps to ensure that all workers feel safe and can trust the studio in lieu of the damage done to the LGBTQIA+ community and employees. The community has already been battling countless fights from all fronts, with a blow like this making their safety an ever more threatened zone. 

The LGBTQIA+ community has been suffering from uncertainty at work, along with constant fear of bullying and worse. The organizers demand that The Walt Disney Corporation takes step to ensure that the workers will remain safe and guarded with the studio. 

There is also the pressing matter of the safety of the employees' families. Not many people are safe from these discriminatory bills if come to passing. 

Along with the tweets, the Twitter account has tweeted a website link reading whereischapek.com. All details of the walkouts are listed in the group containing the locations of the walkouts, along with the scheduled time. 

The employees have started their protests as of Tuesday, March 15, and have been carried out during a 15-minute break period. The daily walkout time is set as 3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., which can vary according to the timezones of the workers. 

The short walkouts will continue for a week, ending on Monday, March 21. A full-fledged walk-out session is planned for Tuesday, March 22. 

The walkouts have been carried out with immense success, as of now, as many Disney employees came out to address the bias of the bill. The organizers had already provided necessary legal advice to the employees if they chose to walk out. 

Apparently, the 15-minute break walkouts were entirely legal, and the workers would be protected for the while and could choose to spend their break as they wish. However, the full-scale walkout does not fall under legal protection. Hence, the employees are advised to walk out at their own risk, given their situation and sympathy to the cause. 

Disney has not clearly addressed the walkout, and there is no action taken against the employees. 

The walk-outs have been independently organized by workers and do not fall under the leadership of any business employee resource groups ( Bergs ) under Disney or the Disney PRIDE organizations. These organizations have already spoken out against the bill. 

Twitter account for Disney LGBTQIA+ employees and allies is urging Disney to meet their demands; Credits: WhereisChapek

But people were quick to point out that the Disney PRIDE organization did not itself instigate the walkouts or help craft the employee demands. Netflix had suffered from a similar fate last year when a production "Closer" was accused of featuring transphobic jokes.