A letter by LGBTQIA+ employees of Pixar alleged that Disney corporate executives have demanded cuts from "nearly every moment of overtly gay affection". Obtained by Variety, the letter came after a company-wide memo was sent to Disney employees by CEO Bob Chapek on Monday (March 7), regarding its response to the recently passed legislation in Florida known as the 'Don't Say Gay' bill.
According to the outlet, the cuts were in effect regardless of protests from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar. The employees also claimed that their experience with the studio was at odds with the company-wide memo that stated that the "biggest impact" the company can make "in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce".
The letter said, "We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it." (sic)
The letter also demands Disney withdraw the financial support of all legislatures who supported the "Don't Say Gay" bill and "take a decisive public stand".
Notably, Pixar has included a handful of LGBTQ characters including a cyclops police officer named Specter, voiced by Lena Waithe in the 2020 release Onward. His sexuality is only acknowledged in passing when Specter says, "It's not easy being a new parent - my girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out, okay?"
The studio earlier this year, garnered backlash after the studio choose to stay silent amid political attacks against LGBTQ+ families in Florida. Earlier on Wednesday, Chapek spoke about Disney's opposition to the "Don't Say Gay" bill during the company's shareholders meeting.
He announced that the company would meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss Disney's "concerns" about the legislation and pledged $5 million to the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQ rights organisations. However, Human Rights Campaign announced that they'd refuse the donation until "meaningful action is taken to combat" the legislation.