On the heels of Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s apology letter for his botched response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, a group of LGBTQIA+ employees and allies have planned a week of in-person and virtual walkouts.
Via a Twitter account named Disney Walkout, the group released a letter that read, “The LGBTQIA+ workers and allies at The Walt Disney Company are standing in solidarity together over the coming weeks.”
“The recent statements by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) leadership regarding the Florida legislature’s recent ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation,” wrote organizers. “Primarily, those statements have indicated that leadership still does not truly understand the impact this legislation is having not only on Cast Members in the state of Florida, but on all members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the company and beyond. While we certainly appreciate Bob Chapek’s apology note, there is still more work to be done.”
“As a community, we have been forced into an impossible and unsustainable position and must now take action to convince TWDC to protect employees and their families in the face of such open and unapologetic bigotry,” the group explains, before detailing what the company should do in order to “regain the trust of the LGBTQIA+ community and employees.”
Organizers says Disney should end campaign donations to Florida politicians who pushed for or helped in creating the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, publicly commit to an actionable plan of protection for employees, and create an LGBTQIA+ brand that focuses on underrepresented employees and LGBTQIA+ creators.
A website called whereischapek.com, which is linked in the tweet, includes more details about the walkouts that started March 15. From the 15th through March 21, the daily walkouts will be both in-person and virtual, and they will consist of a 15-minute period from 3:00 p.m to 3:15 p.m. The time is dependent on the employees’ time zone.
A full-scale walkout is planned for Tuesday March 22, with the group advising those who wish to join that it is “not a legally protected action” and to “take your own situation into account before choosing to participate.” It is unclear how just many employees will be participating in the walkout.