In a blistering letter to Disney management, a group of Pixar’s LGBTQ+ employees and allies slammed the company’s lack of action to oppose a hateful new Florida law dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill, and accused the company of constantly censoring LGBTQ content.
The law, which was passed Tuesday and awaits signature by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, prevents elementary school teachers from even acknowledging the existence of gay people, and is partly enforced by allowing parents to sue any school they believe has violated it.
The Pixar employee letter, which is undated, was made public hours after Disney CEO Bob Chapek claimed during the company’s quarterly shareholder meeting that the company had attempted behind the scenes to oppose the law — though of course it refused to take a public position on it even as the law appeared likely to pass.
“We hoped that our company would show up for us. But it didn’t,” the letter, first published by journalist Judd Legum, said.
When defended the company’s refusal to condemn the law earlier this week, Chapek said “I and the entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees,” and also that “the best way for our company to bring about lasting change is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create, and the diverse community organizations we support.”
However, the Pixar employee statement says the company has done just the opposite. “We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it,” the group said.
The letter calls on Disney leaders “to immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the ‘don’t say gay’ bill, to fully denounce this legislation publicly, and to make amends for its financial involvement.”
The letter also criticizes the company for not taking “a hard stance in support of of the LGBTQIA+ community,” and because they say it “attempted to placate ‘both sides’ — and did not condemn hateful messages shared during the question and answer portion of [Wednesday’s stockholder] meeting.”
“This is not what it means to ‘unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities,” the letter said.
Representatives for Disney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.