Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their wacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
Disney’s LGBTQ Walkout
Disney’s LGBTQ community, not happy about Florida’s proposed “Don’t Say Gay” bill, has organized a protest. They are so upset, in fact, that they have scheduled two weeks’ worth of 15-minute walkouts from the job and, on March 22, a full day’s strike.
The problem isn’t that Disney officials agreed with the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, it’s that the company didn’t come out with scathing words and actions denouncing such a thing. In an open letter, the group claimed the Walt Disney Company didn’t show enough apathy to the “bigoted” bill. “The recent statements and lack of action by TWDC leadership regarding the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation,” the statement read. It continued:
“As a community, we have been forced into an impossible and unsustainable position. We must now take action to convince TWDC to protect employees and their families in the face of such open and unapologetic bigotry.”
Just a little recap here: The bill would require the implementation of “procedures to reinforce fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing and control of their children.” It also allows parents to take legal actions against school boards if they feel their “fundamental right” has been infringed and bans teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ topics that are not “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Because Disney did not publicly blast Florida’s lawmakers for such a proposal, the LGBTQ+ employees have a list of demands they expect to be followed as a way of making up for such shoddy treatment. They listed 22 individuals, including Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, as people to whom Disney will not be allowed to donate. “A temporary pause is not enough,” the demands read. “TWDC must immediately and indefinitely cease all campaign donations to these politicians involved in the creation or passage of the ‘don’t say gay or trans’ bill.”
Furthermore, “TWDC must publicly commit to an actionable plan that protects employees from hateful legislation,” according to the statement, which included a list of these “plans.”
- Stopping construction and investment in Florida until the “hateful” legislation is repealed.
- Stopping efforts to move employees to Florida for their “safety and employment retention.”
- If a person rejects the move to Florida, the company guarantees they will not be terminated.
- Because of TWDC’s “inaction to protect the rights” of the gay/trans community, the company must make “substantial contributions” to The Trevor Project, Trans Life, and other advocacy groups “to regain our trust.”
- TWDC “pledges to create an LGBTQIA+ brand similar to that of ‘The Onyx Collective’ focusing on LGBTQ+ creators and underrepresented voices.”
Walt Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek earlier tried to donate $5 million to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) but the LGBTQ+ advocacy group rejected it, saying until the company did more to denounce the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill, they would not accept any donations. Chapek reached out to his employees via email to apologize for not being more active in disagreeing with the proposed bill and said, “Starting immediately, we are increasing our support for advocacy groups to combat similar legislation in other states.” He has also, at least temporarily, paused all political donations in the state.
Disney has bent over backward to meet the ever-increasing demands of the gay community. As Liberty Nation reported earlier, the move to turn Hollywood more gay is on the rise: “GLADD is pushing to have LGBTQ plots in 50% of all movies by 2024. A quick internet search reveals that more than 30 gay movies are coming out this year.”
Movies, including children’s cartoons and animation films, don’t show enough gay material, according to LGBTQ advocates. They want more explicit scenes demonstrating to audience that the characters are gay. Now, after the fallout from the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney Pixar will reinstate the same-sex kiss scene in “Lightyear” which is due to be released on June 17, 2022.
Cheers and Jeers
Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings — honorable and dishonorable — by the tenants of Tinseltown.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Warns the Russians
Former California governor and Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger had a few words to say to Russian Soldiers, citizens, and President Vladimir Putin: “I’m sending this message through various different channels to reach my dear Russian friends and the Russian soldiers serving in Ukraine. I’m speaking to you today because there are things that are going on in the world that are being kept from you, terrible things that you should know about.”
Schwarzenegger, whose father fought on the Russian front in WWII, spoke of his love for the Russian people, then related what is going on in Ukraine with what happened on Jan. 6 at the DC Capitol in the US:
“I speak with the same heartfelt concern as I spoke to the American people when there was an attempted insurrection on January 6 last year when a wild crowd was storming the U.S. Capitol trying to overthrow our government. There are moments like this that are so wrong and then we have to speak up. It is exactly the same with your government.”
The actor/politician wanted to tell the Russians the “truth” about what is really happening with the Russia-Ukraine war. He explained:
“I know that your government has told you that this is a war to denazify Ukraine. Denazify Ukraine? This is not true. Ukraine is a country with a Jewish president. A Jewish president, I might add, whose father’s three brothers were all murdered by the Nazis. You see, Ukraine did not start this war. Neither did nationalists or Nazis. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war. This is not the Russian People’s War.”
Schwarzenegger talked about how the war destroyed his father and how he didn’t want others to have the same experience before appealing to “those in power:” And finally, to Putin himself, Schwarzenegger said: “And to President Putin I say: You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”
Celebrities Trying to Stop Bank From Funding Canadian Pipeline
Hollywood’s A-list came out in droves to sign a petition to urge a Canadian bank to stop financing a pipeline. The petition reads:
“We, the undersigned, demand that City National Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Canada:
Withdraw support from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, effective immediately.”
It further states that the Royal Bank is “bankrolling the climate crisis and violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
And quite the list of names from Tinseltown jumped on board to put their Hancock to the petition. Take a gander at some of the names:
- Mark Ruffalo
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Scarlett Johansson
- Jane Fonda
- Robert Downey Jr.
- Mariska Hargitay
- Julianne Moore
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Amy Schumer
- Ben Stiller
- Marisa Tomei
The Coastal GasLink project has drawn heavy criticism and has inspired several protests and demonstrations.
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.