Disney exec wants more LGBTQIA, minority character

A Disney exec has vowed to dramatically increase inclusivity in its productions, promising that at least 50 percent of its characters will be LGBTQ or racial minorities by the end of the year.

Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, said the company needs to do more to make its content more inclusive in a later company-wide Zoom call Monday posted on Twitter.

“Actually, I’m here as a mother of two queer kids,” Burke said on the call. “A transgender child and a pansexual child, and also as a leader.”

Burke said she supports showing “many, many” characters who are LGBTQIA, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, and asexual (or ally).

By the end of the year, Burke said she wants at least half of the entertainment giant’s characters to be LGBTQIA or racial minorities.

The Disney honcho said she was dismayed to learn from a colleague that the company only has a “handful” of queer lead characters in its content.

Disney has reportedly reintroduced a gay kiss in its upcoming Toy Story spinoff.
Disney has reportedly reintroduced a gay kiss in its upcoming Toy Story spin-off, Lightyear.
The diversity plan comes amid Gov. DeSantis' new "don't say gay" Politics.
Diney’s diversity plan is tied to the controversy over Gov. DeSantis’ new “Don’t Say Gay” policy.
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy of Evere

“And I said, ‘What? This can’t be true,'” Burke said. “And I realized that it’s actually true. We have many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories and yet we don’t have enough leads and narratives where gay characters can just be characters and don’t have to be about gay stories.”

The call was part of Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” campaign, according to the video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

The new boost for diversity comes when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida HB 1557 on Monday despite claims it was discriminatory. Florida legislation prohibits teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues, such as sexual orientation or gender identity, with students unless they are in fourth grade or higher.

Disney has denounced the new law and vowed to fight to have it repealed.

“Our goal as a company is to have this law repealed by the legislature or struck down in court, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve this,” Disney said in a statement Monday .

The statement came after some Disney employees staged walkouts and held protests against the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which is now law in the Sunshine State.

Burke, meanwhile, got emotional Monday as he announced the new push to include more LGBTQIA and minority characters in Disney’s content.

Disney previously expressed regret over the new law.
Disney previously expressed regret over the new law.

“I hope this is a moment when…the tears come, sorry…we just don’t allow ourselves to go backwards,” Burke told Disney colleagues on the call. Disney exec wants more LGBTQIA, minority character


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