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A conservative Disney employee said the company is ‘making a terrible miscalculation’ for opposing the just-signed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, and suggested Republican staff and parkgoers may boycott the famous theme park.
Jose Castillo, who is also running for Congress in Florida, said his employer’s decision to back the controversial Parental Rights Bill, which has been dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, could be ‘bad for business’ as not everyone is a ‘raging liberal’ who works there.
‘There’s this misconception that everyone at Disney are just raging liberals and I think that can’t be farther from the truth,’ Castillo said on Fox News on Wednesday. ‘I have tons of people that are working for the Walt Disney Company that reach out to me daily on social media [that are Republican].’
The ‘strong conservative’ also said he wasn’t ‘concerned about my job,’ despite his opposing opinion to Disney executives.
‘I think if I were to get fired for my views, I think it would send a wrong message to conservatives, that conservatives would not be welcome at Disney.’
He also said Disney’s position on the bill could be ‘bad for business’ as its saying ‘our goal is for the law to be repealed by the legislator or struck down by the courts.’
Jose Castillo, a Disney employee and Congress hopeful, said Disney is ‘making a terrible miscalculation’ by supporting the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. ‘There’s this misconception that everyone at Disney are just raging liberals and I think that can’t be farther from the truth,’ he said on Wednesday. He argued that Disney’s liberal stance on the bill isolated conservative workers who ‘voted for our state legislator,’ which passed the bill
CEO of Disney Bob Chapek has announced the company disagrees with the Parental Rights Bill, which has been dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
He argues that many staff voted the legislator into the Florida House of Representatives and Senate and going against the bill is killing democracy as only a ‘small minority within the Walt Disney Company that’s a part of the LGBT community are screaming the loudest and they’re being the most vocal.’
‘The left talks about democracy, but what about our democracy?’ Castillo questioned. ‘The people of Florida, a lot of Disney cast members, voted for our state legislator. These are dually elected members of the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate who passed this bill, [and] sent it to the governor, and thank God our governor has the backbone to stand up to companies like [Disney] to stand with the people of Florida, stand with the parents to protect our children.’
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham suggested Disney’s position could isolate Republicans from going to Disney parks and could cause conservatives to boycott the most magical place on earth. Castillo agreed, stating that’s why Disney needed its conservative employees to speak out.
‘We need conservatives like me – I being a candidate, I’m being as loud as I can to tell people we need to stand up for our conservative values. And I’ll be doing the same in Congress, but Disney fails to realize – you know, we’ve gotten an email from our executives saying their stance on the bill and what not – but what people fail to realize, I knew where they stand already, but there’s a lot of people [unintelligible].’
Another Disney employee, writing under the pseudonym Ethan L. Clay, claimed the company’s leaders have ‘surrendered’ to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ideology and instilled a culture that forces employees who support Florida House Bill 1557 to remain quiet out of fear of scrutiny or termination.
‘I encourage everyone to ignore the bloviating of Disney executive leadership, from CEO Bob Chapek all the way down to park VPs,’ Clay penned in his blog post published on Quillette.com Tuesday. ‘These people are not thought-leaders or cultural revolutionaries. They are cowards held hostage by the prevailing narrative, and they will run in whichever direction that narrative dictates.’
He argued the organization’s top leaders do not represent the ‘real Disney Parks and Resorts employees’ who are ‘as diverse as the country itself’ and mostly want ‘Disney to shut up about politics’.
‘The company’s attempts to use us as a bloc to push their political agenda is intolerant, exploitative, and profoundly un-Disney,’ Clay stated.
He also said in a blog post that employees used ‘their ample spare time for internal political action’ during the pandemic lockdown.
‘The [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] department within the company expanded by an astonishing 633 percent in 2019–21, at the same time that nearly every other department was contracting by 25–75 percent,’ employee Ethan Clay said.
At the same time, the fifth key, Inclusion, was added to the four other Disney training keys: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency.
He said the original four keys helped ‘Disney cast members tell stories that appeal across demographic, geographic, ethnic, religious, and political lines.’
‘Every major event that took place in American society since Disneyland first opened its gates in 1955 rolled by and the Four Keys remained unaltered. And yet, in 2021, as the nation reopened from lockdowns in fits and starts, the Fifth Key of Inclusion was added. Why now? Why at all?’ he questioned.
Another employee wrote a blog post that came one day after DeSantis signed HB1557 into law, prompting Disney to issue a statement publicly denouncing the legislation (pictured)
LBGT workers at Disney called for the company to take a stance against the bill
He said ‘Florida was the final straw’ and that ‘Disney has been rotting from the inside for quite some time.’
On March 2, the company began speaking about its position of ‘inclusion for all’ after employees called for the company to take a stance on the bill. By March 7, Disney CEO Bob Chapek acknowledged the LGBT employees ‘disappointment’ and said the company ‘stood with them,’ but they wouldn’t enter the political battlegrounds.
However, a day after the bill passed on March 8, Chapek announced he would be meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to oppose the bill.
‘I understand our original approach, no matter how well intended, didn’t quite get the job done,’ the CEO said at the time.
‘It’s incredible that a company — particularly a company whose brand is family-friendly content — would oppose the perfectly reasonable view that sexual topics are not appropriate for six-year-olds in a public school setting,’ Clay wrote in his blog post.
Yesterday, DeSantis slammed a Disney executive for her opposition to his Parental Rights in Education law – while docking their cruise ships in the Dominican Republic – a country that bans same-sex marriage and condones discrimination against gay people.
‘You’ve got to wonder why is the hill to die on to have transgenderism injected into kindergarten classrooms, or woke gender ideology injected into second grade classrooms. Why is that the hill to die on?’ he asked in a Tuesday night interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
‘Meanwhile, if we’ve done a bill that prohibited talking about the abuse of Uyghurs in China, Disney would’ve supported that legislation. They won’t say a word about that,’ the Republican governor continued, earning a chuckle from Carlson.
‘So it’s just an odd manifestation of their corporate values that they actually do Disney Cruises, Tucker, to the nation of Dominica, which actually criminalizes homosexuality,’ DeSantis said, referring to laws in the Dominican Republic which bans gay marriage and make anti-gay discrimination legal.
‘So they’re fine doing that and lining their pockets, they’re fine lining their pockets from the CCP, and all the atrocities going on there,’ he continued, referring to the Chinese Communist Party, which the company thanked in the credits of its live-action Mulan reboot.
‘But it’s those kindergarteners in Florida that they really want to have transgenderism as part of their core curriculum in school.’
Disney has doubled down on its opposition to DeSantis’ so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in recent weeks, following backlash from customers and employees for being hesitant to oppose the bill, which prohibits the teaching of gender ideology in kindergarten through third grade, when it was first passed.
On Monday, one of the company’s presidents is now vowing to include more gay-lead stories.
General Entertainment President Karey Burke vowed in a company-wide Zoom call that the company would do more to become more inclusive.
Disney has also changed its standard greeting at its Lake Buena Vista theme park from welcoming ‘ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls’ to ‘dreamers of all ages.’
But even some of the most staunch fans are having trouble with the new woke changes, with some Disney World regulars saying they would cancel their season passes. Disney stock prices have plummeted four percent over the past month.
DeSantis’ comments come after Burke said in her Zoom call that the issue hit close to home for her, ‘as the mother of two queer children, actually, one transgender child and one pansexual child, and also as a leader.’
Disney president Kary Burke said that her own children identify as ‘pansexual’ and ‘transgender’ and she is defending the company’s LGBTQIA characters, but promised to bring more
Burke also defended 20th Century Fox as ‘the home of really incredible, groundbreaking LGBTQIA stories over the years,’ but said more needed to be done – and introduced Disney’s ‘Reimagine Tomorrow’ campaign with the goal to represent more minority groups.
Under the proposal, half of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content would come from underrepresented groups.
‘We have many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories, and yet we don’t have enough leads and narratives in which gay characters just get to be gay characters and not have to be about gay stories,’ she said in the Zoom call.
During that 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.’
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign reports 8 percent of Americans identify as being a member of the LGBTQ community.
But the proposal is just one way the company is becoming increasingly woke following controversy over its delayed condemnation of the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill, which bans teaching kids lessons on sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation ‘in a manner that is not age appropriate.’
In recent weeks, the company has reinstated a same-sex kiss in its upcoming Lightyear film, a Toy Story spin-off.
Many Americans, though, see the company’s shift to woke policies as hypocritical.
The company has yet to condemn China’s genocide of the Uyghurs and has bowed to the Chinese Communist Party in the past, notably removing a joke about Tiananmen Square from an episode of The Simpsons and a kissing scene from its $200 million live-action adaptation of Mulan after their Chinese executives thought it was inappropriate.