The Walt Disney Company, and specifically Bob Chapek, have come under fire over their response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Chapek was criticized for not using the power of the the Walt Disney Company to leverage a different vote on the bill. Employees who are upset feel that he should have publicly denounced the bill. They are also mad that the Disney company gave political donations to the people behind the bill and are now staging small walk outs this week, leading up to a full scale walk out on March 22nd.
Besides Chapek’s failure to call out Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis over the bill Disney is in trouble for giving political donations to those voting against the bill. Because, like other corporations, Disney gave to both sides so that they can call in favors when they need to. It is also important to mention that other companies, who are also in Florida and did the same thing, aren’t being openly attacked like Bob Chapek and Disney.
Chapek did eventually call out the bill and called DeSantis about the bill, but it changed nothing. It was likely never going to even if he spoke out sooner.
Bob Chapek made several public statements about it after his first statement was attacked for not being good enough. They are even stopping political donations to everyone over this and re-examining their internal policies, yet again, in an attempt to appease those that are angry.
But some employees feel that isn’t enough. So now those Disney Cast Members are staging Walk Outs.
The website set up for the walk outs, called “WhereisChapek.com” calls for Cast Members to stage 15 minute walk outs on their breaks from March 14-21st leading up to a full walk out on March 22nd.
“Starting Tuesday March 15th through Monday March 21st we will begin scheduled walkouts during a 15 minute break period.
These will take place at 3:00PM-3:15PM respective to the employees timezone.
Then on Tuesday March 22nd we will engage in a full stage walkout.”
Then in bold red letters it says:
“You are protected to act while on break for the daily break walkouts, but the full scale walkout that will take place on Tuesday March 22nd is not a legally protected action. Take your own situation into account before choosing to participate.“
They even admit in the information page that the 15 minute walk outs are to gauge interested in doing the full scale one:
Check-In For the Daily Walkout on the Home Page
This is to gauge approximate participation levels leading up the full scale walkout. We must make sure we have large enough numbers to be successful.“
It gives them examples of what message they should post on their Slack while they walk out. Here is the full day post:
For Members of the Disney LGBTQIA+ Community:
“As an employee of The Walt Disney Company and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community I will be participating in an organized and unified full-day walkout to speak out against Disney’s lack of action against the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill”. You can find our demands of Disney leadership here: https://www.whereischapek.com/demands”
For Allies of the Disney LGBTQIA+ Community:
“As an employee of The Walt Disney Company and an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community I will be participating in an organized and unified full-day walkout to speak out against Disney’s lack of action against the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill”. You can find our demands of Disney leadership here: https://www.whereischapek.com/demands”
I’m really not sure what this is supposed to accomplish as Disney has already spoke out against the bill. Bob Chapek has already withdrawn financial donations and has spoken to the governor. For what it’s worth, even if he had done all this before I sincerely do not think that it would have changed anything in Florida, but it seems to have changed things at the company.
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