An open letter in response to boss Bob Chapek, who financed lawmakers who proposed a law that caused a scandal in the United States, the “Don’t Say Gay”.
“Even though creating LGBTQIA+ content is the answer to fighting a discriminatory law, we are being prevented from doing so.”
Bob Chapek, the head of Disney studios, has been the subject of criticism since it was revealed that he had financially supported the holders of a law to ban talking about LGBTQIA + at school in Florida. Nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay”, it was submitted to the leaders of this American state this week, which prompted Chapek to write an email to all his employees. Trying to avoid scandal, he explains for example that Disney has always supported diversity and in particular the representation of LGBTQIA + communities, then considers that the “biggest impact” what the group could have about it would be to “to create a more inclusive world through the inspiring content we produce.” A sentence that made some Pixar employees jump, who explain that each time they try to include gay references in their animated films, they are systematically censored.
variety publishes the open letter signed by “Pixar’s LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies”. It opens with Chapek’s first remark: “In Monday’s email, the sentence ‘our wholehearted involvement with the LGBTQ+ community’ rang strangely in our ears. The message starts with the affirmation that Disney has been supporting us for a long time, yet Disney parks only started organizing Pride in 2019, and this only concerned the French park. If Disney has a history with Pride, it’s more of scuppering fan events in the parks in the past or banning same-sex dances from its shows in the 1980s. In addition, Disney capitalized on Pride from 2018 by launching a rainbow Mickey collection, but without mentioning the terms LGBTQ + or LGBTQIA + anywhere until 2021. In the end, it’s a terrible feeling to be part of a company that makes money from Pride merchandising while deciding to take a step back when it’s needed most, when our rights are in question.”
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The letter goes on to explain that Disney is a studio influential enough to have a real impact on all these issues, referring in bulk cancellation of the exit ofRed alert in Russia following the attack on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin or the rapid reaction of stop filming in the state of Georgia when its leaders implemented a discriminatory policy. She finally insists on the other remark of her email: “creating a more inclusive world through the inspiring content we produce”: “We at Pixar have personally witnessed the creation of great stories, diverse characters, who came back from the Disney review board having lost who they originally were. Almost every time we openly evoked some gay affection, it was cut, no matter how much protest from the teams or even the heads at Pixar Even though creating LGBTQIA+ content is the answer to fighting a discriminatory law, we are being prevented from So beyond the “inspiring content” we’re not allowed to create, we’re asking for action. We’re asking Disney executives to stop funding lawmakers who are behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay’, to publicly denounce it, and finally to apologize for having invested money in it. If donating it now to an association defending LGBTQIA+ rights is a step forward in the right direction, the meeting between financiers who took place on Wednesday clearly shows that it is not enough. ” The letter evokes here Bob Chapek’s attempt to make up for it by wanting to give 5 million dollars to the Human Rights Campaign. A decision announced during this professional meeting, which was refused by the association “as long as a real action” is not engaged by Bob Chapek against this law. “We need your full support, we don’t need empty words”concludes the letter by recalling that discrimination linked to sexual orientation still wreaks havoc today, the suicide rate being high within the LGBTQIA+ press release.
Note that no movie titles from Pixar or Disney are overtly cited in the letter, but the teams of Luke (released on Disney Plus last summer) have, for example, made it known that a lesbian couple from the film, living under the same roof in the village in Italy where the plot takes place, had been transformed during production into “two sisters”. At Disney, it’s Isabella fromEncanto who presumably lost his sexual orientation along the way: concept art depicts her in the colors of the lesbian flag, but this color code is no longer so marked in the final version. If there are some allusions to homosexuality in the studio’s recent animated films, they are always in the background or said during dialogues short enough to be able to be cut during editing in countries where homosexuality is still reprimanded. : we thus saw in a gust of wind a couple of women take a walk in the water park of the world of dory (2016) with a stroller, and a policewomanForward (2020), voiced by Lena Waithe, quickly evoked the daughter of his companion during a conversation.