Pixar employees say Disney suppresses same-sex affection in films
A new report, citing a letter written by LGBTQIA+ employees of Pixar and their allies, claims that Disney corporate executives have vetoed any “overtly gay affection” in their productions, despite protests from the creative team and executive leadership.
The letter, shared by Variety, claims that Disney corporate executives have completely dismantled “beautiful stories, full of diverse characters” and have allegedly barred them from creating LGBTQIA+ content.
“Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it. Beyond the “inspiring content” that we aren’t even allowed to create, we require action.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek faced backlash earlier this week for the company’s response to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which restricts the discussion of sexual orientation and gender by teachers in schools. Due to the company’s presence in Florida, the community looked to Disney to campaign against the bill, but their failure to do so led to protests and widespread backlash.
In response to this, Chapek shared an internal memo stating that “The biggest impact we can have in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create here and the diverse community organizations we support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community”.
In the letter, Pixar employees shared their criticism of how Disney has supported the LGBTQIA+ community over the years.
“It feels terrible to be a part of a company that makes money from Pride merch when it chooses to “step back” in times of our greatest need, when our rights are at risk.”
Employees behind the letter listed a number of demands for the company, including to “immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, to fully denounce this legislation publicly, and to make amends for their financial involvement”.
“This matter is not something that can wait until Reimagine Tomorrow in April, or Pride Month in June. This matter needs to be addressed now. This is urgent.”
Disney has yet to publicly respond to the letter or the employees’ demands.