On Monday morning, Disney CEO Bob Chapek released an internal statement saying that Disney would “unequivocally” stand by its LGBTQ employees after the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the Florida House of Representatives. (The bill is scheduled to advance to the state Senate on Tuesday, with a governor’s vote deciding the ultimate fate of the legislation.) The statement comes after reports on Disney’s history of donating large sums of money to state legislators who supported the bill. In response to this internal memo, Dana Terrace, creator of Disney Channel’s The Owl House, posted a passionate video on Twitter.
In the video, Terrace speaks candidly about the companywide email, and Disney’s support of the bill, which she says will put many queer kids in danger.
“It’s honestly hard to talk about this stuff,” says Terrace in the video. “I am someone who honestly had a hard time coming to terms with my queerness till my mid-20s, because of stuff like this.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill prohibits discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms, kindergarten through third grade, throughout Florida, and also give parents unlimited access to their children’s health and education records. The bill also requires schools to notify parents “if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student.” While the legislation specifically centers around elementary school, LGBTQ advocates suggest the law could be taken advantage of.
“Man, I know I have bills to pay,” says Terrace. “But working for this company has got me so distraught. And I hate, hate moral quandaries about how I feed myself and how I support my loved ones.”
The Owl House notably features a queer romance at the center of the show, along with a nonbinary character. It is leaps and bounds ahead of other Disney media, which notoriously receives poor ratings on GLAAD’s studio responsibility index year after year. And yet, as the text in Terrace’s tweet points out, a single show headed by LGBTQ talent, telling queer stories, does not cover up Disney’s greater actions.
Terrace ends her video announcing an upcoming stream on her Twitch channel on March 13, the proceeds from which will be donated to LGBTQ-focused charities.