Disney Prez of Entertainment Wants 50 Percent of All Characters Gay or ‘Underrepresented’

The radical shift is a clear response from the Mouse House to Florida’s ”Just Say Gay” law after bumbling the issue time and time again
2936

There’s a lot of change happening in the Mouse House, where Mickey will perhaps no longer be dating Minnie, but rather a gentleman mouse instead.

Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, announced on a company-wide Zoom call Monday that as “the mother of two queer children”—one transgender and one pansexual, she elaborated—she intends to drastically ramp up queer visibility within the Magic Kingdom, increasing characters in Disney productions that are LGBTQIA or other underrepresented minorities by a whopping 50 percent by the end of 2022, according to the New York Post via meeting footage obtained by journalist Christopher F. Rufo and posted to Twitter.

Burke said that Disney had only a “handful” of queer leads in their content. “We have many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories and yet we don’t have enough leads and narratives in which gay characters just get to be characters and not have to be about gay stories.”

Burke indicated that her plan is a response to Florida’s “Just Say Gay” law, which prohibits teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity “in a manner that is not age appropriate” in the classroom for students from kindergarten to third grade.

That said, the entertainment giant has been making changes for some time now. Since last summer, they’ve removed all the “gendered greetings,” from their live spiel at the parks, such as saying “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” according to additional meeting footage obtained by Rufo. Now, it’s simply “Hello everyone,” or, “Hello, friends.”

 

Meanwhile, a Disney executive producer said in the same meeting that she regularly made a practice of “adding queerness” to children’s TV.

“In my little pocket of Proud Family Disney TVA, the showrunners were super welcoming… to my not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau says in leaked footage obtained by Rufo and reported by the New York Post. “That sense of, I don’t have to be afraid, to have these two characters kiss in the background.”

Raveneau further stated, “I was just, wherever I could, adding queerness. If you see anything queer in the show — No one would stop me, and no one was trying to stop me.”

[Note: Due to a mistake in editing, an earlier version of this story included a garbled sentence that could have been taken to imply that a Disney producer leaked some of the reported footage. That was not our intention.  — I.S.]



Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.