Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Disney Workers Walk Out To Protest Complicity in “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Disney workers are staging walkouts to protest the company’s refusal to condemn Florida’s recently-passed anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

Ezra Brain

March 22, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Disney Don't Say Gay protest
Photo: Phelan M Ebenhack/AP

Things aren’t so magical at Disney. The company, which has been in process of monopolizing much of the entertainment industry, has long been a hyper-exploitive employer, but labor struggle at the corporation has recently risen to a new level with employees staging walkouts this week and next to protest Disney’s refusal to publicly condemn the recent anti-LGBTQ+ measure (commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill) enacted in Florida. 

Disney’s relationship with the state of Florida is deeper than it may appear. Disneyworld revolutionized Florida’s economy and placed Disney in a central role within Florida’s finances. Because of this, the company is also deeply involved in state politics. As Audrey Jewett, a political science professor, put it to the Guardian: “You could argue that Disney has had a bigger impact on Florida and central Florida than any other company or group.”

This created what the Orlando Sentinel described as a “symbiotic relationship” where “​​Disney would fertilize the politicians’ campaign accounts with cash — top it off with free hotel rooms and park passes — and then the politicians would do whatever Disney wanted. Disney got tax breaks, incentives, taxpayer-funded advertising, even a law guaranteeing companies would never have to offer employees paid sick time if they didn’t want to. Basically, the two sides were political cronies who swapped favors for cash.”

Disney’s political ties have put them into a complicated situation. On one hand, they try to market themselves as an inclusive company, adhering to a brand —  one that stretches back to their inception  — of positivity and “magic,”despite the fact that, of course, they were founded by a ruthless capitalist bigot who made his fortune by exploiting his animators. On the other, in order to continue playing nice with their political allies, Disney has aligned itself politically with proponents of a far-right social agenda which contradicts the happy family image that Disney tries to put out. 

In fact, Disney has donated to every single sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill. 

Disney’s original response to the bill’s passage was the predictable yet unacceptably insufficient commitment to creating “inclusive content.” Workers have accepted neither this performative move nor CEO Bob Chapek’s lackluster statement; while Chapek internally spoke out against the bill, he has so far refused to publicly condemn it. In response, workers are demanding that the company stop donating to the sponsors of the bill, publicly commit to a concrete action plan to address issues within the corporation, publicly stand with the queer community, and allocate funding to create a specifically queer brand that focuses on LGBTQ+ voices, among other demands.

We stand with Disney workers and all workers across the country who are fighting their bosses’ complicity in the recent spate of terrible anti-queer and trans laws being enacted throughout the U.S. As Republican-led attacks accelerate, workers across sectors must organize a unified force to fight for the LGBTQ+ community.

Facebook Twitter Share

Ezra Brain

Ezra is a NYC based theatre artist and teacher.

United States

A young couple with their baby in front of the Capitol

Refugees Are Being Stranded in NYC – Both Parties Are to Blame

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been sending buses of refugees to New York City. As the refugee crisis worsens, the Left in the United States needs a clear strategy for solidarity.

Sam Carliner

August 15, 2022
Demonstrators chant in front of the White House during a climate march on October 12, 2021.

Democrats’ ‘Climate Bill’ Puts Polluters before People and the Planet

Congressional Democrats, supported by President Biden, just passed a major spending bill focused on climate change, health care, and taxes. But it’s no win for the climate or the working class.

Robert Belano

August 13, 2022

Our Movement Is the Cure: Fighting for Healthcare Means Fighting for Socialism

On July 30 activists marched and rallied in Washington, DC, calling for a more humane healthcare system. Physician and Left Voice member Mike Pappas spoke at the rally about how capitalism and health aren’t compatible. Below is the text from his speech.

Mike Pappas

August 2, 2022

Michigan Court of Appeals Gives County Prosecutors Right to Enforce Abortion Ban

Today a Michigan Court ruled that prosecutors in counties across the state have the authority to enforce a 1931 law that prohibits almost all forms of abortion.

Tristan Taylor

August 1, 2022


Two Turkish military members stand in front of a tank with the Turkish flag in the foreground and another tank with military members is visible in the background.

Turkey’s Dirty War Rages in Kurdistan

Since the beginning of the year, Turkey has been waging a dirty war against Kurdistan, terrorizing the civilian population with chemical weapons and drone strikes. What’s behind the action, and how is Germany aiding the onslaught?

Tom Krüger

August 14, 2022
A black and white photograph of Paulo Freire.

A Critique of ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’

Recently a debate has been taking place inside the recently formed Revolutionary Socialist Organizing Project (RSOP), which centers around revolutionary organization, what methods are needed to politically develop the revolutionary vanguard and the broader working-class and oppressed masses, and other issues.

Kendall Gregory

August 14, 2022

Dictating Rules from Below: The Re-Emergence of Workers’ Councils in Iran

Gianni Del Panta interviews Ida Nikou, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Stony Brook State University in New York. Her dissertation focuses on the labor movement in Iran and how the neoliberal turn has impacted workers' rights and living conditions.

Gianni Del Panta

August 12, 2022

Starbucks Fires Joselyn Chuquillanqui in Retaliation for Union Organizing

Joselyn Chuquillanqui was fired after working at Starbucks for almost 7 years. She is just one of over 70 workers fired for organizing around the country as the company ramps up its union busting.

Luigi Morris

August 12, 2022