Disney named Kristina Schake —a veteran of the Biden administration, the Obama administration, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign — as its new spokesperson. (Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)
The move comes as Disney faces backlash from consumers and lawmakers over its opposition to the Florida parental rights bill, which CEO Bob Chapek condemned after pressure from progressive activists within the entertainment conglomerate.
According to a press release from The Walt Disney Company, Schake “was appointed by President Biden to lead the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine education campaign,” served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President and Communications Director to the First Lady, and worked as Deputy Communications Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“I could not be more pleased to welcome Kristina to Disney and to have her leading communications for the company,” Disney chief corporate affairs officer Geoff Morrell said in the statement. “Her experience in the public and private sectors, in political and corporate campaigns, make her ideally suited for this important role and to help me integrate communications with government relations, public policy, and corporate social responsibility into a new Corporate Affairs team.”
Schake also co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights — a nonprofit that pushed for “full federal marriage equality for all Americans.” The Disney statement lauds Schake for leading “the successful bipartisan public awareness campaign and legal challenge to restore marriage equality to California.”
Recent criticism of Disney, however, has focused upon Disney weighing in on cultural issues.
Last week, Christopher Rufo, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute think tank, released several videos purportedly from a recent “all-hands” Disney staff meeting to discuss the Florida parental rights legislation — dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by critics. According to the footage, Latoya Raveneau — an executive producer for Disney — explained how she was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming attitude and open-mindedness that the company has toward her “not-at-all secret gay agenda,” particularly as it relates to “adding queerness” to the show she worked on, “The Proud Family.”
“Our leadership over there has been so welcoming to like, my like, not-at-all secret gay agenda,” Raveneau said in reference to the team that worked on the show.
More recently, former child actor Cole Sprouse told The New York Times that female child actors on the Disney Channel were “heavily sexualized,” emphasizing that his experience as a child actor was far different from females’ experience.
“My brother and I used to get quite a bit of, ‘Oh, you made it out! Oh, you’re unscathed!’ No,” the actor explained. “The young women on the channel we were on [Disney Channel] were so heavily sexualized from such an earlier age than my brother and I that there’s absolutely no way that we could compare our experiences. And every single person going through that trauma has a unique experience.”
“When we talk about child stars going nuts, what we’re not actually talking about is how fame is a trauma,” he continued. “So I’m violently defensive against people who mock some of the young women who were on the channel when I was younger because I don’t feel like it adequately comprehends the humanity of that experience and what it takes to recover.”