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Disney Receives Bad Grades On Its Inclusivity ‘Report Card’

Many people — including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — have accused the Walt Disney Company (and specifically Walt Disney World Resort) of being “woke” or overly progressive in its policies. However, there is at least one institution that actually doesn’t think that Disney is up to snuff in the progressive or inclusive category!

Instead of calling Disney “woke”, as anyone who has been following Disney news would anticipate (especially since CEO Bob Iger has replaced former CEO Bob Chapek and is sticking with the same policies), the organization GLAAD (whose mission is, according to the organization’s Twitter profile, “accelerating acceptance for LGBTQ people”) gave the Walt Disney Company a bad grade on its “report card”.

This “report card” is actually the GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index, and Disney was not the worst offender on the list of failing film studios, but it was also not receiving top marks.

According to the GLAAD organization’s website, GLAAD is “the world’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization” and it “increases media accountability and community engagement that ensures authentic LGBTQ stories are seen, heard, and actualized.”

GLAAD did praise Disney for “having a gay teen protagonist in a family film”, with that film being the new box office flop called Strange World, and it did point out that the relevant character’s portrayal and screen time is “a huge step in the right direction for the genre, and an example we’d like to see more studios follow.”

Disney's Strange World

Disney’s Strange World Credit: Disney

However, according to GLAAD’s report, Disney has been “insufficient” in its inclusivity overall.

The new Disney version of West Side Story failed the test that GLAAD used (which is called the “Vito Russo Test” and is reminiscent of the Bechdel Test) despite involving a transgender character and Oscar winner Ariana DeBose. GLAAD also did not approve of Disney’s $25,000 in donations to politicians with “anti-LGBTQ” views.

west-side-story-ariana-debose

Credit: Disney

The studios that actually failed the report and reportedly did not feature any LGBTQ characters in their 2021 movies were Paramount and Lionsgate. Warner Bros. was given a “poor” rating because the studio still involves itself with “anti-trans activist” and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

To many Disney fans — especially those who have loved some of Disney’s new projects due to their “woke” and progressive elements, and also those who have hated said projects — Disney’s “insufficient” levels of inclusivity may be surprising. What do you think of this GLAAD report?

 

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!