Disney employees go out as brands like ESPN and Disney + show support for LGBTQ + rights

“Welcome to EVERYONE who comes to this happy place,” Disney Parks wrote on its Instagram Tuesday morning, echoing Walt Disney’s words during his inaugural speech at Disneyland’s opening day in 1955. “Disney Parks, Experiences and Products is committed to creating experiences , which supports family values ​​for any family and will not discriminate in any way. “

The post, which included a photo of rainbow-colored Mickey Mouse ears, said the unit opposes “any legislation that violates fundamental human rights, and stands in solidarity and supports our LGBTQIA + Cast, Crew, and Imagineers and fans who make their voices heard . today and every day. “

Support from some of Disney’s most vital brands shows the extent to which the company has increased its opposition to Florida’s controversial law on parental rights in education, which critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”

And that’s a head-scratching change from the company’s initial public reaction.

Earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke about the bill in a note to employees, but directly refused to condemn it publicly. Instead, Chapek said Disney’s continued to tell “diverse stories” is a more appropriate response to legislation that prohibits teachers from discussing LGBTQ + issues with children in third grade and below.
Chapek’s statement created furore inside Disney and from outside, forcing the CEO to apologize for his lukewarm response, leading to organized times from Disney employees. Disney employs 75,000 workers in Florida.
Another notable Disney brand, ESPN, too conveyed his solidarity on the issue with a Twitter thread Tuesday morning.

“ESPN believes in inclusivity and condemns legislation and actions throughout the United States that violate any human rights. We stand with our LGBTQIA + colleagues, friends, families and fans,” the report said. “We will continue to work with organizations that support the LGBTQIA + community, be responsible where we do not live up to expectations, and never stop telling stories about LGBTQIA + athletes.”

That official Twitter account for Disney + streaming service added that it “stands by our LGBTQIA + staff, colleagues, families, storytellers and fans.”

“We strongly condemn all legislation that violates the fundamental human rights of people in the LGBTQIA + community – especially legislation that targets and harms young people and their families,” the tweet read.

Disney + added that it strives to create a service that “reflects the world we live in.”

“Our hope is to be a source of inclusive, empowering and authentic stories that unite us in our common humanity,” it read.

These are not the first statements like this made online by entities in the company. Marvel Studios and Pixar took to social media after the initial backlash to express support for LGBTQ + rights by saying they stand with the community.

As for the parent company itself, Disney hosted an online meeting with all of its entities on Monday on the subject.

“This morning, we held a virtual company-wide conversation about anti-LGBTQ + legislation and Disney’s response to it,” the company told CNN on Monday. “We know how important this issue is to our LGBTQ + staff, their families and allies, we respect the right of our colleagues to express their views, and we promise our continued support for the LGBTQ + community in the fight for equal rights.”

CNN’s Leyla Santiago and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.

CNN’s Leyla Santiago and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.

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