Janon Fisher, Daily Mail, March 29, 2022
A Disney executive in charge of content vowed to up the ante on gender politics during an all-hands meeting, promising that at least half of the characters in its productions will be LGBTQIA or from racial minorities by the end of the year.
General entertainment president Karey Burke said during a company-wide Zoom call that Disney must do more to be more inclusive.
The call was part of Disney’s ‘Reimagine Tomorrow’ campaign which promises that 50 per cent of characters and content would be from underrepresented groups by 2022.
Meanwhile, Disney’s diversity and inclusion chief Vivain said that they no longer address theme park visitors as ‘ladies and gentleman, boys and girls’ but instead as ‘dreamers’ and ‘friends’.
Burke choked up during Monday, saying the issue hit close to home because of her children.
‘I’m here as the mother of two queer children, actually, one transgender child and one pansexual child, and also as a leader,’ she said.
During the same all-hands meeting, television animation executive producer Latoya Raveneau gushed about Disney’s inclusivity and boasted about ‘adding queerness’ to shows and productions.
‘Our leadership over there has been so welcoming to my not-so-secret gay agenda,’ she said. ‘Wherever I could I was adding queerness. No one would stop me and no one was trying to stop me.’
Videos from the meeting were leaked to conservative journalist Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, who first reported them on Twitter.
The Mickey Mouse company has been roiled by protests, counter-protests and walkouts after Florida Gov. Ronald DeSantis signed the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law.
The legislature bans teaching kids lessons on sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation ‘in a manner that is not age appropriate.’
Disney employees walked out of the company headquarters last week to protest the slow response to the Florida law.
Parents hit the company from the other side for what they said was pandering to liberal politics.
Meanwhile, the animation and live-action movie company announced that it would increase the number of gay characters in its films.
‘I have heard so much from so many of my colleagues over the past few weeks in open forums, through emails and phone conversations,’ Burke said. ‘I feel a responsibility to speak not just for my self but also for [my kids].’
She defended 20th Century Fox as ‘the home of really incredible, groundbreaking LGBTQIA stories over the years.’
But she said that it hasn’t been inclusive enough.
‘One of our execs stood up and said, ‘You know we only have a handful of queer leads in our content,’ Burke said. ‘I went, ‘What? That can’t be true. And then I realized it is true.’
The company has launched a campaign called ‘Reimagine Tomorrow’ with the goal to represent more minority groups.
‘By 2022, 50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from underrepresented groups,’ according to the ‘Reimagine’ promotional material.