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Source: Disney

Pixar’s LGBTQIA+ employees and supporters have issued a statement saying that parent company Disney cuts out “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in their stories.

The statement went on to call on Disney leadership to withdraw its financial support for legislators behind Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, denounce the proposed law and to make amends for its financial involvement.

The Florida bill proposes to outlaw any discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity by school officers in the state and would give parents the right to sue over what they regard as violations. The bill has been passed by Florida’s legislature and is now on the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek, whose Disney World theme park is in the state, had been slow to comment on the matter until an annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday (9), when he said the studio was signing a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) petition against similar bills in the United States and would donate $5bn towards measures to protect the LGBTQ+ community.

HRC said on Wednesday evening it was refusing the donation until Disney took more meaningful steps against the legislation although it conceded the pledge was a step in the right direction. Chapek has also said he has agreed to meet with Gov. DeSantis in Florida.

The Pixar statement meanwhile comes at a challenging time for Disney. An excerpt from the document read, “We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.

“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.”

It continued, “We are calling on Disney leadership 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. While signing on to donate to the HRC is a step in the correct direction, the shareholder meeting on Wednesday made it clear that this is not enough.

“Throughout the shareholder meeting, Disney did not take a hard stance in support of the LGBTQIA+ community, they instead attempted to placate “both sides” – and did not condemn hateful messages shared during the question and answer portion of the meeting. This is not what it means to “unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities.”