Why #BoycottDisney Is Trending Among Parents
The hashtag #boycottdisney has been going viral as parents swear to cut ties with the company over yet another controversy.
It’s a hashtag that is starting to make some noise. #boycottdisney is trending though it remains to be seen if it will have a lasting effect on the Mouse House. So, what has parents up in arms with many across the country ready to or already having canceled their Disney+ streaming service or swear to never visit a Disney park again? Gender identity, representation, sex, and a Florida bill signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis that had Disney’s allies to LGBTQIA+ employees walk out in protest of the slow response by Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
There is a lot to unpack here for the #boycottdisney crowd, so let’s get to it. We’ll start with Gov. DeSantis and his “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The actual title of the bill is the Parental Rights in Education bill and as Gov. DeSantis has stated time and time again, the word “gay” is not written one time in the bill. But what opponents of the bill prefer to focus on is that the bill bans classroom instruction on sexual identity or gender identity for kindergartners through third grade.
While most see it as protection for young children, some see it as an assault on LGBTQIA+ rights. On the opposite spectrum of the #boycottdisney trend, the snowball started rolling and it has only picked up steam. Chapek’s slow response to Gov. DeSantis signing the bill into law prompted some Disney employees to express their frustration by leaving their jobs. On top of that, Disney’s political donations to those who support the Parental Rights in Education bill caused more strife within the company. Finally, Chapek apologized to his employees in an email saying, “It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights,” Chapek wrote. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.” He also announced that Disney will pause all political donations in the state.
But it was Karey Burke, President of Disney General Entertainment, who truly lit the match to get the #boycottdisney train rolling. In a company-wide zoom call that Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, posted to his Twitter channel, Burke said in no short terms that Disney was prepared to go all-in with its LGBTQIA+ representation. She also mentioned that Disney has plans to have at least 50% of Disney characters being LGBTQ. Before Burke made her announcement, she started by saying that “as a mother of two queer children, actually one transgender child and one pansexual child” she feels the “responsibility to speak, not just for myself but for them.” She said she supports having “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories.” #boycottdisney went wild. Her video can be seen below.
Just as snowballs gather momentum as they roll downhill, so has #boycottdisney. Rufo has been posting “Scoop” after “Scoop” on his Twitter account, each one throwing more gasoline on the fire. One Scoop reads: “Disney production coordinator Allen March says his team is committed to “exploring queer stories” and has created a “tracker” to make sure they are creating enough “gender-nonconforming characters,” “canonical trans characters,” and “canonical bisexual characters.”
Another “Scoop” talks about executive producer Latoya Raveneau who first had reservations about joining the Disney team because she had heard the company “won’t let you show this in a Disney show.” But then in her experience, she found that the opposite was true. She then admitted that her team has since implemented a “not-at-all secret gay agenda. She also admitted that they are “adding queerness” on a regular basis to Disney’s children’s programming. This only added to #boycottdisney.
#boycottdisney responses came fast. Many brutal and many swearing off the Mouse House for good. Here are but a few.
Those are just a few of the tamer #boycottdisney responses. As these videos continue to make rounds, it’ll be interesting to see how Chapek responds. It will also be interesting to see if Disney Parks or its streaming service begin to feel the effects.