Celebrities voice support for Disney employees following walkout protests
Hollywood celebrities have voiced their support for Disney employees following walkout protests against the company’s response to controversial US legislation.
Mark Ruffalo and Kerry Washington are among those who say they stand by the staff decision and do not condone the actions of the global franchise.
Republicans in Florida recently passed what opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill which limits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity to young children in the state.
Chief Executive Bob Chapek has been criticised for his lack of action and not using Disney’s vast influence in the state to try to quash the bill.
On Tuesday, workers at various Disney theme-parks and studios walked out in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.
“For a long time, as an employee of ABC, I have been part of the Disney corporate ‘family’, Washington wrote in a statement online.
“It’s a creative and professional community that I am often happy and proud to be a part of. But sometimes family members disagree. This is one of those times.
“I don’t condone the actions or inactions of Disney in this moment.
“I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQIA+ employees, and stand with them in this walk out today.
“Please know that you matter. Your rights matter. Your voices matter. I encourage you all to help their voices ring louder today.”
Avengers star Ruffalo added: “Standing proud and in solidarity with our LBGTQIA+ family.”
Marvel Studios, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company previously said it “strongly denounces” any legislation that affects the rights of the community, after the bill was passed.
The bill bars instruction on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in US schools from kindergarten through to third grade.
Republican politicians argued that parents, not teachers, should be the ones to discuss gender issues with children during their formative years.