Opinion: Disney should put more effort into LGBTQ inclusivity

If you’ve kept up with social media lately, you might be aware that Disney has been in quite a bit of hot water. On March 8, the Florida Senate voted 22-17 to pass HB 1557, informally named the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, limiting LGBTQ disscussion in Floridian schools.

The United States has not been friendly to its LGBTQ population for the past few months with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Texas’s transphobic investigations of families, forbidding Floridian students from discussing LGBTQ topics, as well as labeling Texan parents allowing transgender healthcare for their children as abusers. It’s cruel seeing the country abuse its LGBTQ youth. Making it sting all the more, Disney seems to be on the fence about LGBTQ topics as well.

Despite funding politicians in favor of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney CEO Bob Chapek claimed to unwaveringly support the LGBTQ community, a clear lie on his end. Employees within Disney, however, are critical of Chapek’s actions, such as Latoya Raveneau, director of “The Proud Family” remake, as well as Dana Terrace, the creator of “The Owl House.” Pixar movies such as “Luca” and “Turning Red” didn’t see releases in theaters when Disney’s “Encanto” did, almost as if to punish Pixar’s LGBTQ representation.

Disney should try harder to support the LGBTQ community. While employees and the talented workers at the company bring LGBTQ representation in the media they create, it’s become increasingly apparent that the higher-ups at Disney dislike it. For example, “The Owl House,” a show highly praised for its lesbian representation, was canceled due to “not fitting the Disney brand.”

Creators should not have to constantly push against a multi-billion dollar company in order to represent LGBTQ people. Like people of color in the United States, they are very much a minority deserving of respect, and it’s bigoted to pretend as if they are not. While some 40-year-old conservative Facebook moms may claim LGBTQ representation in kids’ media is “grooming,” the reality is that the Facebook moms don’t really know what they’re talking about. 

Homosexuality and other sexual orientations, despite having “sex” in the term, are not inherently sexual, and merely define feelings of romantic or bodily attraction. Children are not being groomed by exposure to these ideas, rather, it educates them and allows them to have an open mind while allowing LGBTQ children to relate to fun characters.

Disney’s corporate higher-ups need to put more effort in supporting the LGBTQ community at this time. With states like Florida and Texas taking strong anti-LGBTQ stances, and affecting the suffering of people, the last thing they need is a hypocritical corporation walking all over them. Disney needs to stop pushing against their LGBTQ creators and the representation they want to have in their media, and shouldn’t punish them for being different.