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On Friday, sports broadcasters at the Disney-owned ESPN interrupted their sports coverage to speak out against the anti-LGBT legislation.
The ESPN interruption came during their regular halftime commentary during a women's NCAA basketball game last week. The two female announcers, Courtney Lyle and Carolyn Peck, offered support for their "LGBTQIA+ teammates at Disney."
Lyle commented, "There are things bigger than basketball that need to be addressed at this time. Our friends, our family, our coworkers, the players and coaches in this community are hurting right now."
She continued, "At 3, about eight minutes ago, our LGBTQIA+ teammates at Disney asked for our solidarity and support, including our company's support in opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Bill in the state of Florida and similar legislatures across the United States."
Peck added, "A threat to any human rights [sic] is a threat to all human rights." The pair then announced a two-minute period of silence to demonstrate "love and support for our friends, our families and our colleagues."
The Disney pushback against the Florida legislature even extends into production of a children's film.
A scene of a same-sex couple kissing was reportedly added to Disney's movie Lightyear, a prequel to Toy Story, with CEO Bob Chapek saying Disney will "unequivocally stand" with LGBT employees.
According to reports from Variety, an upcoming trailer for the Disney-Pixar film Lightyear, which is a prequel covering Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, will show a same-sex female couple kiss.
The scene was originally removed from the trailer but was restored in response to Florida lawmakers' passing the measure. Governor Ron Desantis is expected to sign the bill into law this week.
According to "a source close to the production" of the Lightyear film, Disney restored the gay scene to appease the LGBT advocates at Pixar.
Former Pixar employees claimed some Disney employees have called for a greater presence of LGBT characters in the company's storytelling for years, but management consistently opposed them.
One Disney director and LGBT advocate, Steven Hunter, praised Disney for reinstating the same-sex kissing scene, saying, "I'm really proud of those folks for speaking up. ... We can't assume that these laws that they're trying to put in place aren't hurtful and bigoted and, frankly, evil. We are not going away. We're not going back in the closet."
At the Disney offices in California on Tuesday, a group of employees staged a walkout in protest of the Florida anti-grooming bill. A few dozen employees marched down the sidewalk chanting "say gay" and clapping.
Disney employees in California HQ stage a walkout while chanting “say gay” to protest Florida’s anti-grooming bill. So stunning and brave pic.twitter.com/DVJqa3DBab— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) March 22, 2022
Conservative voices have criticized Disney for the recent shows of support for the LGBT agenda. Pundit Ben Shapiro commented on Twitter, "Disney is now injecting itself into politics by endorsing the indoctrination of small children into radical sexualized worldviews, all because a small woke base has taken them hostage. It's time to fight back."
Libertarian journalist Tim Pool added, "It's weird that they keep doubling down on wanting kids under 9 years old to be exposed to sexual content."
One Twitter user proclaimed, "It's not Disney's place to play politics. Buzz Lightyear doesn't need gay characters. It needs a good story, good performances, and to answer archetypal questions. If the inclusion of gay characters does that, I'll show it to my kids. But not if it's just far-left propaganda."