Disney Employees Walk Out In Protest Of Education Bill

Disney employees staged company wide walk outs to oppose the company's refusal to condem a controversial education bill.

By Erika Hanson | Published

Related:
Students Across Virginia Walk Out Of Schools To Protest Governor’s LGBTQ Policy

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If you haven’t heard yet, Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis are the talks of the nation following the recent passing of the Stop Woke Act and the soon-to-be signing of the Parental Rights Bill. Both pieces of legislation drew national attention for their controversial verbiage that could have huge impacts on what teachers can say and teach in Florida classrooms, but the Parental Rights Bill, often called the Don’t Say Gay Bill, has drawn the most criticism, as liberals and LGBTQ supporters say it is detrimental to Gay rights. With opposers making their voices heard, even the House of Mouse is getting involved, and it’s kicked off what’s touted to be a massive Disney Employee walkout. 

See part of the walkout in this Twitter video all the way across the nation in Burbank, California.

While some would argue that the protestors should be walking out on The Sunshine State in general, as Disney wasn’t the entity that voted in favor of the controversial law, Disney employees see things differently. The issue seemed to begin when Disney CEO Bob Chapek refused to publicly condemn the legislation. Earlier this month, Chapek mentioned the bill in a note to employees. And instead of deciding to state the behemoth company’s disapproval of the bill, he skirted around the issue saying that Disney would continue to tell “diverse stories” as a response. 

The CEO’s response did not sit well with Disney Employees. Yesterday, NPR reported a link to a site created by the company’s workers to arrange a measure of company-wide walk-outs to protest the company’s refusal to denounce the new legislation. According to the site, staged walkouts were planned not only yesterday but last week as well. The site also noted that yesterday was supposed to be a full-scale walkout which would not legally protect employees.

The Disney employee walk-out site did more than just stage the walk-out, it also signified direct actions they demand the company to take in order for the walkouts to cease. They would like to see Disney immediately and indefinitely cease all campaign donations to all politicians involved in the creation and passage of the Parental Rights Bill, including donations to Governor Ron DeSantis. The site goes on to list all 21 supporters of the bill in congress. 

CEO Bob Chapek did apologize to Disney employees earlier this month for not speaking out sooner against the legislation. Saying that he and other leaders were also outraged, he believed the company would be more effective in combating the bill’s anti-gay notions “behind the scenes” He even noted that since then, he personally spoke with the Governor to ask for a meeting to discuss how the bill could negatively affect the LGBTQ community in the state. Chapek also noted that Disney was in the process of reassessing its approach to advocacy, including political donations in Florida. 

As it stands, the Florida Parental Right Bill or the Don’t Say Gay Bill has been approved by both Florida’s House and Senate. As the bill reads, it would ban any gender-identity and LGBTQ discussions inside classrooms for the state’s youngest children, third grade and down. The legislation is headed for the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, where it’s largely suspected to be fervently signed into law. But given the widespread pushback from Democrats, liberals, and even Disney employees worldwide, there is still a chance the legislation will be stopped, but the chances are slim to none.