Top Disney execs aren’t the only ones who want more LGBT content in children’s programming. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) CEO Sarah Kate Ellis made her thoughts clear during the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles over the weekend, Variety reported. (Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans to release children’s entertainment content.)
“Don’t wait until you’re in the hot seat,” Ellis told the audience, referencing the recent media meltdown over Disney’s stance on the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which just passed in Florida. “There’s no more time to sit on the sidelines. We need Hollywood on the front lines, fighting for our rights and telling our stories.”
The organization’s leader went on to describe how not only were they advocating for more LGBT representation in the media, but also that they wanted it specifically in programming targeted at young audiences.
Ellis implored Hollywood “to take meaningful action and will soon convene the biggest brands, agencies, studios and streamers together with two goals: one, to commit to improving the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ images, especially in kids and family programming. And, two, to speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation in favor of rights like the Equality Act.”
After celebrating some wins LGBT lobbyists made in the culture, including their increased presence on TikTok, Ellis insisted that the activism was far from over.
“In just one day, on March 8, the Florida Senate passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which was signed into law this past week,” she continued.
“The South Dakota Senate passed a bill that bans discussion of ‘divisive concepts’ like race and sex in college courses. The Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill that would send librarians to jail if they let minors check out books that include LGBTQ topics. And the New Jersey Supreme Court denied an appeal that would bar a religious organization from offering so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ This all happened not in one month, not in one week, but all in one day,” Ellis concluded.
The GLAAD CEO’s final line came across as a threat to audience members.
“I expect every industry executive in this room to join us. GLAAD will give you the playbook. But we wont give you a pass,” she said.
These remarks come after leaked videos from a Disney all-hands meeting showcased their goals for kids’ content. The Daily Wire originally reported on how footage showed Disney Executive Producer Latoya Raveneau referring to what she described as her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” plus Disney Corporate President Karey Burke urging the company to add more LGBTQIA lead characters to upcoming projects.
“We have many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories and yet we don’t have enough leads, a narrative in which gay characters just — just get to be characters and not have to be about gay stories,” she said.
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