Disney workers, actors, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other supporters have recently come forward to express their displeasure with the company’s response to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill.
A group of demonstrators, on March 22, gathered outside the brand’s Burbank Studio in Florida. They were brandishing placards and shouting slogans such as, “Disney, say gay! We won’t go away!” and “We are queer! We are here!”
People took to social media, including Twitter and Instagram, as well as in-person protests, to express their views on the issue. Several Hollywood actors, including Oscar Isaac, Mark Ruffalo, Raven-Symone, and Ethan Hawke, were outspoken against Disney’s recent participation in the dispute.
Many protestors reported that their supervisors were mostly supportive of the strike. There were many rescheduling of meetings to support the protest. Even during the protest, many argued that it was important for Disney to stop funding Florida lawmakers who supported the measure restricting gender identity and sexual orientation.
Oscar Isaac, who stars in the upcoming Moon Knight series, spoke upon the subject at a virtual junket on Tuesday, March 22. He told Variety, breaking into a song.
“I guess my comment would be: gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gayyyyyy!”
He further added that it is an absolutely ridiculous law. The actor hoped that Disney as a company comes out as forcefully as possible against this idea. Oscar added, “It’s astounding that it even exists in this country.”
“My life’s work is dedicated to creating empathy.”
Celebrities such as Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, and other A-listers rushed to social media to express their opinions. Unlike Isaac, Hawke did not comment on the specifics of the bill or the controversy surrounding the brand’s response to it, claiming that he is not educated enough to remark on the subject. But, the Before Sunrise actor did give his thoughts on the importance of LGBTQ representation in mainstream culture.
Hawke said, “My life’s work is dedicated to creating empathy. I feel the power of stories that we tell each other. If you tell the truth about human experience, you invite empathy. And the more places we shine light, the less dark places there are, and there’s less to be afraid of. And the more we understand each other’s experiences, the more humanity we find in them, and the better we all actually feel. So that’s my job, and that’s what I believe in.”
Larry Wilmore, producer Pilar Savone, actor Kerry Washington, and writer Raamla Mohamed were among those who voiced their comments. Mark Ruffalo, the actor of Marvel’s The Hulk, retweeted Kerry Washington’s message. He captioned the retweet and wrote, “Standing proud and in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ family! #SayGay #DisneyWalkOut.”
People are hoping Disney would come forward in response to the protest and stand up for its employees and the LGBTQIA+ community.