Raven-Symoné joins Disney walkout over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill: ‘We don’t like it’

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Raven-Symoné arrives at the 2021 premiere of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)
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Raven-Symoné and the cast of “Raven’s Home” are among the Disney employees who participated Tuesday in a walkout protesting Florida legislation that would restrict classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Instagram, Raven-Symoné shared a video of the “Raven’s Home” cast and executive producers expressing their support for LGBTQIA+ Disney staffers who organized the demonstration opposing the bill — which critics have labeled the Don’t Say Gay bill. As a teen, Raven-Symoné starred in the hit Disney Channel series “That’s So Raven” before returning for the revival as an adult.

In the clip, Raven-Symoné calls the bill “ridiculous,” shouts, “We don’t like it!” and encourages viewers to “support, support, support” the movement to block the legislation.


Disney employees walk out to keep up the pressure on CEO Bob Chapek after his handling of a staff revolt over Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

March 22, 2022

“In support of our LGBTQ+ family and all of those who will be damaged by the ‘don’t say gay bill’ we the cast of Ravens Home are walking out,” the Disney Channel star captioned the video.

“In todays world it is imperative that we take stands, show support, and move forward not backwards. Every family every person and every child deserves to be recognized no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Education that reflects the truth and the world we live in is something we must fight for. #dontsaygaybill”

In solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, Disney employees staged a protest Tuesday because the entertainment corporation refused to denounce the bill before it was passed by the state Legislature. The bill aims to prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and would allow parents to sue districts for violations.

Actress and Disney Channel star Raven-Symoné is married to Miranda Maday after a secret backyard wedding ceremony this week.

June 18, 2020

Last week, Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek apologized to employees for the company’s initially neutral stance on the bill, admitting he let his staff members down when they needed him to be “a stronger ally.” He also announced that Disney would pause political donations in the state while the corporation workshops its approach to advocacy.

Raven-Symoné is not the only Disney celebrity to speak out against the bill in recent weeks. Kerry Washington, a longtime employee of Disney who starred in the hit ABC series “Scandal,” reprimanded the studio giant Tuesday for its response to the legislation.

Disney’s CEO made a critical misjudgment in his response to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. What he does next will be key.

March 15, 2022

In a statement posted on social media, Washington praised LGBTQIA+ Disney staffers for taking a stand against the company’s recent behavior.


“For a long time, as an employee of ABC, I have been part of the Disney corporate ‘family,’” Washington wrote. “It’s a creative and professional community that I am often happy and proud to be a part of. But sometimes family members disagree. This is one of those times.

“I don’t condone the actions or inactions of Disney in this moment. I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQIA+ employees, and stand with them in this walk out today. Please know that you matter. Your rights matter. Your voices matter. I encourage you all to help their voices ring louder today.”

In her post, the “Little Fires Everywhere” star shared the hashtag #SayGay, along with a rainbow of heart emojis, while encouraging her millions of followers to sign a petition urging Disney to “immediately and indefinitely cease all campaign donations to ... politicians involved in the creation of or passage of the ‘don’t say gay or trans’ bill.”

Created by Disney employees, the petition also demands Disney “expand its content catalog to represent the LGBTQIA+ community” and donate to LGBTQIA+ organizations such as the Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline.

Another major Disney player who weighed in on the controversy Tuesday was Josh Gad, best known for voicing the character of Olaf the snowman in the “Frozen” franchise.

“I too love Disney. But everyone must grow,” Gad tweeted. “To all of my friends in the LGBTQ community & those under the wide and diverse Disney banner, I love you, I stand with you and I have your back. Everyone should feel heard, safe & protected.”


When asked about Disney’s response to the Florida legislation at the premiere of Disney+’s “Cheaper by the Dozen” remake, Gabrielle Union told Variety that “the damage is done.” Union attended the event with husband Dwyane Wade, daughter Kaavia James Union Wade and stepdaughter Zaya Wade, who is transgender.

“Somebody asked me, ‘Are you disappointed?’ I’m disappointed when my order isn’t right at In-N-Out. I don’t even think that’s a word that you could use for something like this, where children’s lives are literally hanging in the balance,” said Union, who stars opposite Zach Braff in the new “Cheaper by the Dozen” movie.

“We need to own that if you truly are taking stands against hate and oppression, you should not fund hate and oppression. Period.”

Disney’s reputation with the LGBTQ community has been stellar for decades. Then came Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

March 22, 2022

At a virtual press junket this week for his upcoming Marvel series “Moon Knight,” Oscar Isaac dubbed the legislation “absolutely ridiculous” and “insane,” making his position on the controversy abundantly clear.

“I guess my comment would be [starts singing] gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gayyyyyy!” the “Star Wars” actor told Variety. “I hope that Disney as a company comes out as forcefully as possible against this idea. It’s astounding that it even exists in this country.”