Christopher Rufo is a man on a mission. In 2020, he declared a “one-man war against critical race theory” — and his efforts have been kindly rewarded.
A “CRT Legislation Tracker“ on his website logs over a hundred bills in dozens of US states aimed at curriculum transparency and the purging of divisive, racialised teaching in schools. Fourteen states have seen successful passage of at least some of these protections.
More dangerously, parents across America have awoken from their slumber, joined Rufo’s cause, and become loud and active at local school board meetings.
So the Walt Disney Company has every reason to tremble now that Rufo’s crosshairs are pointed in its direction.
On Wednesday, Christoper Rufo posted five leaked videos to his Twitter feed revealing top executives and producers discussing the company’s “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” which includes a push towards queerness and quotas for LGBT cartoon characters. He followed it up with an exposé in City Journal.
“Last year, after my report on Disney’s critical race theory training program, Disney quickly deleted it from the company’s internal servers,” he writes. “But executives did not abandon identity politics. In fact, they added another component — gender ideology — and ramped it up.”
The leaked footage discussing Disney’s “gay agenda” did not come from a closed-doors boardroom, but at a company-wide online meeting aimed at appeasing woke employees in the wake of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law being passed earlier this week.
The hot-button legislation simply bans “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” in “kindergarten through grade three”. It also requires that any content on such topics be “age-appropriate” for older students.
Nevertheless, Disney has joined the parade of outrage labelling it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and framing it as an attack on the dignity of LGBT people.
Disney’s “most intersectional employees” were recruited to present at the “Reimagine Tomorrow” meeting, writes Rufo. They included “a ‘black, queer, and trans person,’ a ‘bi-romantic asexual, and ‘the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual child’,” he adds.
One presenter was Latoya Raveneau, who has worked in writing, animation and production for several popular children’s TV shows, including Puppy Dog Pals (2017-2019), Rise Up, Sing Out (2022), and The Proud Family (2022).
“Our leadership over there has been so welcoming to my not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” Raveneau told meeting attendees. Having grown up “watching all of the classics,” she said she was delighted to discover how much permission was given for “adding queerness” into cartoons, such as having “two [queer] characters kiss in the background”.
Karey Burke, the president of Disney’s general entertainment content and “a mother of two queer children” meanwhile lamented that while Disney has “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories,” not enough of them play a lead role.
Production coordinator Allen March shared that the team behind the upcoming television series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur has “been really open to exploring queer stories”. One of his roles was to “put together a tracker of our background characters to make sure that we have the full breadth of expression” of “gender nonconforming characters” in the new show.
A Disney Parks diversity and inclusion manager, Vivian Ware, explained the woke policies being implemented for park visitors in Florida. These include staff no longer calling young girls “princess”, even if they are “presenting as female” — and replacing gendered greetings like “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” with “friends” or “dreamers of all ages”.
One of the more bizarre moments leaked by Rufo was when an Equality Florida representative addressed LGBT Disney staff. She said the De Santis bill was pushed by people seeking to “erase you, criminalise your existence… [and] demonise who you are” — and that “the next step is to criminalise you and take your kids”.
Safe to say, Disney’s woke capitulation won’t end well — for anyone.
“Executives have empowered activists within the company and now seem unable to resist their demands,” warns Rufo. “Observers should watch Disney closely in the coming years. However the story ends, the company looks like a case study in ideological capture.”
The #BoycottDisney hashtag has seen over 324,000 tweets in recent days.
Disney employees who disagree with the entertainment behemoth’s pivot towards radical sexual politics have written an open letter calling for a politically neutral Disney, and invited staff, shareholders and customers alike to sign it.
The Daily Wire has used the scandal to launch a Disney alternative, Daily Wire Kids, made possible by the conservative outlet’s swollen US$100m annual revenue, as the balkanisation of American culture continues.
Woke staff, media activists, and Disney’s progressive adult audience may see progress. Only the company’s bottom line over coming years will tell the true story.