The President of Disney General Entertainment, Karey Burke has released a short video on Twitter stating that moving forward the Disney company will be making big leaps forward to represent the LGBTQ community and minority groups. During the two-minute video Burke states that Disney is committed to transitioning at least 50% of their characters to either LGBTQ or another form of minority group. However, she did not give a timeline or specific plans for the concept, but she does say that the changes to Disney LGBTQ representation should be apparent to viewers by the end of 2022.
You can watch the video here:
She also takes time to mention that she herself is a parent of two LGBTQ individuals. Burke explains that it was pointed out to her that Disney does not currently have significant representation of LGBTQ people. Furthermore, Burke claims that Disney has “many, many, many LGTQIA characters in (their) stories,” which is debatable, currently they have almost zero leading characters and almost none whose sexual orientation is not the main focus of the character. This video was a portion from a companywide Zoom call, and it is assumed that it went into further detail of the plans, the overall gist being that Burke promises affirmative action by Disney towards its LGBTQ representation.
Recently the Disney Company experienced a massive walkout of employees due to the company’s lack of response to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, also referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The bill prohibits teachers from presenting lessons or examination of sexual orientation to students from kindergarten to Grade Three. Critics of the bill claim that the vague language used in it would silence discussion and education of LGBTQ identity. Disney was also criticised for not condemning the bill; however, they have since pledged to try and help repeal the bill.
Pixar (Disney subsidiary) employees claimed that they have previously had to censor same sex relations on screen, so the proposed changes by Disney will need to be seen in real time to be believed.