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GLAAD Says the Walt Disney Company Has Come a Long Way With Inclusivity… But Isn’t There Yet

According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Disney has come a long way in its effort to be inclusive of multiple identities.

When it comes to the topic of inclusivity, the Walt Disney Company has been in the news over and over again. The media and entertainment giant has released multiple films that include more LGBTQ+ identifying characters (think the transgender character in West Side Story), and the company (after much debate and backlash) spoke out against the Parental Rights in Education Act in Florida (also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation).

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Magic Kingdom

Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom/Courtesy of Disney

As reported by the¬†New York Times, GLAAD noted how far Walt Disney Studios has come considering that historically it does poorly in LGBTQ+ representation. The Studio also “lost ticket sales for its inclusiveness.” GLAAD noted that Disney has now stepped away from altering films to gain entry into markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia that ban movies for the depiction of same-sex relationships.

The report didn’t include streaming services like Netflix but did compare Disney to giants like Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and more. Still, despite how far Disney has come, as we’ve reported in the past, GLAAD still reports that Disney can do more.

Disney's Strange World

Disney’s Strange World/ Courtesy of Disney

Read More: Disney Receives Bad Grades On Its Inclusivity ‚ÄėReport Card‚Äô

It’s noteworthy, of course, that this year, the organization added an extra element of consideration to its report of noting LGBTQ inclusion. As NYT¬†stated,

GLAAD also based its grades on corporate actions, balancing support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and advocates with donations to anti-L.G.B.T.Q. politicians. In the past, GLAAD has not looked at political donations. It decided to change course in the spring, when Disney became entangled in a dispute with the Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.

bob iger stance don't say gay

The Parental Rights in Education controversy is well-known and documented, but it remains to be seen what Disney will do from here on out. Now that Bob Iger has returned as CEO, he addressed the topic at a town hall meeting held shortly after he resumed the mantle of chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company. Iger himself publicly denounced the bill before the company did and has spoken of his commitment to ensuring all Disney employees, especially those who belong to the LGBTQ community, feel safe working for the company. At the same time, he has also expressed his sadness over the Florida battle and over Disney being embroiled in politics.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to report on all Disney news.

About Priyanka

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago.