Employees from across Disney’s numerous divisions are staging a walkout today, dubbed the “Disney Do Better Walkout,” to protest the company’s response to Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education act, known colloquially as the “Don’t Say Gay bill.” Among those participating are a number of Marvel Comics employees, who join employees of Lucasfilm, Disney Publishing, and more in the walkout.
The #DisneyWalkout hashtag on Twitter includes tweets from Marvel employees including editors Alanna Smith and Sarah Brunstad, associate editor Annalise Bissa, assistant editor Lindsey Cohick, and director of creative content Lorraine Cink, among others. Cink is arguably the most-visible of the Marvel employees to walk out, as she is the host of a number of webseries and podcasts for the publisher.
A Twitter account for the walkout, @DisneyWalkout, has collected statements from dozens of Disney and Disney-related employees with their hopes for what the walkout will accomplish, from recognition from Disney to more robust representation in the media the company produces. The account also shared a link to a list of things people can do in support of the walkout and of Disney’s LGBTQ+ employees.
The Parental Rights in Education act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay bill,” would bar school personnel from instructing students about issues surrounding sexual orientation or gender identity, and prohibit general discussion among students about either topic as well. According to reports the wording of the bill is ambiguous enough about what constitutes ‘instruction’ or ‘discussion’ that it’s likely teachers will avoid topics of sexual orientation or gender identity altogether to avoid opening themselves up to legal repercussions — hence, “Don’t Say Gay.”
The Beat stands in support of all the striking Disney employees today. Hopefully the walkout will accomplish what they’re hoping for, and if not, the fight for a better world will continue.