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Although Disney employees staged a highly publicized nationwide walkout over their opposition to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” legislation, diversity of opinion about what activists have renamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill apparently exists within the multinational conglomerate.
In a purported open letter, self-described “proud Disney employees” who say they love their work but are conservative-leaning claim, moreover, that Disney is harboring a hostile work atmosphere for those who simply believe the presumably family-friendly media company should remain politically neutral.
The unsigned (for obvious reasons), 1000-plus-word letter, in part, outlines the alleged internal divisiveness within woke Disney, which seems to be reflective of what is occurring in corporate America generally, i.e., that diversity actually requires conformity to a leftist agenda and that inclusion, in practice, results in exclusion.
“The Walt Disney Company has come to be an increasingly uncomfortable place to work for those of us whose political and religious views are not explicitly progressive. We watch quietly as our beliefs come under attack from our own employer, and we frequently see those who share our opinions condemned as villains by our own leadership,” the message contends, in part.
Disney employees across US walk out over so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. Some parents feel better already. https://t.co/idX1TuVEt7
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) March 23, 2022
“The company’s evolving response to the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation in Florida has left many of us wondering what place we have in a company actively promoting a political agenda so far removed from our own…TWDC has fostered an environment of fear that any employee who does not toe the line will be exposed and dismissed…
“Left-leaning cast members are free to promote their agenda and organize on company time using company resources. They call their fellow employees ‘bigots’ and pressure TWDC to use corporate influence to further their left-wing legislative goals,” the letter added.
Ron DeSantis educates ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill protesters on exactly what they’re supporting and OMG https://t.co/If99FfNJ8d
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) March 23, 2022
The letter continues:
“Meanwhile, those of us who don’t align with this vision keep our heads down and do our work without bringing our personal beliefs into the workplace. We’ve done this without complaint because we don’t want to rock the boat, but the boat is being rocked, and our leadership seems compelled to reward those who are rocking it. Employees who want TWDC to make left-wing political statements are encouraged, while those of us who want the company to remain neutral can say so only in a whisper out of fear of professional retaliation…”
In addition to potentially alienating a significant portion of the vast Disney customer base, the letter also notes that “This politicization of our corporate culture is damaging morale and causing many of us to feel our days with TWDC might be numbered.”
‘Liberal privilege is real’: People ask why Disney fired Gina Carano but not Whoopi, actress weighs in https://t.co/Q8CvD3MhBQ
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) February 3, 2022
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has previously apologized to staff for not being a “stronger ally” in standing against the bill.
Disney-owned ESPN officially denounced, as well, the Florida legislation, which only applies to five, six and seven year olds. ESPN employees also reportedly staged a walkout.
During the women’s NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, ESPN broadcasters invoked an on-air moment of silence to protest the legislation in an expression of ally-ship and solidarity.
ESPN interrupted its coverage of women’s NCAA tournament for a moment of silence to protest the “don’t say gay,” bill. So is @espn’s official policy as a company that public schools need to teach kindergarten through 3rd grade kids about sex?! Insanity: pic.twitter.com/cJjQAMQVZL
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 18, 2022
Today during the Women's NCAA Tournament, ESPN's Carolyn Peck and Courtney Lyle remained silent for two minutes in opposition of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill.
"There are things bigger than basketball … Our LGBTQIA+ teammates at Disney asked for our solidarity and support." pic.twitter.com/d0xISZvNUh
— The Recount Alt (@therecountalt) March 18, 2022
Many viewers have noticed that ESPN has devolved into a social justice channel that also shows games and discusses sports.
When Jimmy Pitaro took over as ESPN president in 2018 from the very liberal John Skipper, he apparently tried to implement a no-politics policy. That directive evidently went out the window after George Floyd died in Minneapolis.
As things stand now, ESPN critics have alleged that that network execs either approve of their on-air talent expressing progressive politics or they are too timid to do anything about it.
Journalist Jason Whitlock has argued that some ESPN personalities are engaging in virtue signaling as a way to promote their personal brand and boost their paycheck rather than sincerely advocating for a cause.
Even way back in November 2016, shortly after the presidential election but before wokeness became pervasive throughout corporate America, ESPN’s public editor, a position that no longer exists, wrote the following which may resonate with Disney conservatives:
Internally, there’s a feeling among many staffers — both liberal and conservative — that the company’s perceived move leftward has had a stifling effect on discourse inside the company and has affected its public-facing products. Consumers have sensed that same leftward movement, alienating some…
Many ESPN employees I talked to — including liberals and conservatives, most of whom preferred to speak on background — worry that the company’s politics have become a little too obvious, empowering those who feel as if they’re in line with the company’s position and driving underground those who don’t.
“If you’re a Republican or conservative, you feel the need to talk in whispers,” one conservative ESPN employee said. “There’s even a fear of putting Fox News on a TV [in the office].”
“Keep in mind, the authors of the letter are not asking Disney to embrace a right-wing ideology but to be ‘politically neutral.’ What an egregious request. How dare these rebel staffers ask a children’s entertainment company to stay out of politics?,” Outkick‘s Bobby Burack asserted about the open letter from the Disney workers.
Some observes have argued that the woke philosophy within business enterprises has originated in corporate Human Resources departments.
Previously, conventional wisdom held that campus activists and other like-minded progressives would need to go through an attitude adjustment when they took jobs in the real world.
It has turned out, however, that just the opposite has occurred, with the business community often quickly succumbing to both internal and external far-left pressure in the context of hot-button political and social issues.
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