Saturday, April 13, 2024

Disney accused of removing gay love from Pixar films

Disney has come under fire from employees, with a group of Pixar employees claiming inside a letter that Disney executives “have barred moments of gay affection from films before they are released”.

The letter details (via The Guardian) that employees working on Pixar films have personally witnessed LGBTQ+ stories and moments of gay affection be stripped down to the barebones. This includes queer characters too who have “come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.” This new information directly opposes what Disney CEO Bob Chapek says about the company supporting the LGBTQ+ community through their ‘content’.

As first reported by Judd Legum of Popular Information, the letter goes on to state what we’re all thinking: “even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”

Pixar employees go on to ask Disney leadership to “immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the “Don’t Say Gay” bill,” and fully shun the legislation publically. The letter also mentions a shareholder meeting that occured last Wednesday where it was thought that Disney did not take a hard enough stance, instead trying to placate “both sides” – something which has only led to further discomort and displeasure from employees working at Pixar.

The letter concludes that “if Disney is true in its values” the company will take a stand and offer “tangible support” towards the LGBTQ+ community. It also addresses the burden that homophobia has on LGBTQIA+ youth, and how Disney, being such a huge company which touches the lives of everyone all over the world, would positively impact queer youth if they stood up for a community that’s been targeted again and again.

This isn’t the first time this month that Disney has been under extreme scrutiny from its LGBTQ+ fans and employees. Last week the company’s posturing over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill led to various employees – including the creator of Disney Channel’s The Owl House, Dana Terrace – speaking out about the company’s silence. Then there’a also the fact that Disney has donated money to every sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the first place… It’s not been a great look for the company, that’s for sure.

Whether Disney will speak out and make changes remains to be seen.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.