In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Marvel Studios denounced anti-LGBTQ+ legislation a week after the Florida Senate voted to pass a controversial bill that would restrict the teaching of LGBTQ+ content in school classrooms.
“We strongly denounce any and ALL legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community,” the studio said in a statement posted on its Twitter platform. “Marvel Studios stands for hope, inclusivity, and strength; and we proudly stand with the community. Today, we pledge to continue our strong commitment as allies who promote the values of equality, acceptance, and respect.”
The statement comes a week after Marvel’s parent company, Disney, came under fire from critics for not speaking out against the so-called “Don’t Say Gay Bill” after it passed in the Florida Senate. In a memo sent internally to Disney employees, CEO Bob Chapek defended the company’s silence, saying that while Disney was committed to supporting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, “corporate statements do very little to change the outcomes or minds.”
He added, “I believe the best way for our company to bring about lasting change is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create, and the diverse community organizations we support.”
Following the statement, Variety reported that it had obtained a letter attributed to LGBTQ+ employees of the Disney subsidiary Pixar, alleging that Disney executives objected to LGBTQ+ content in films, calling for cuts to “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection … regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.” The allegations undercut Disney’s earlier claims to support the LGBTQ+ community through their inclusive content.
Variety further reports that a group of Disney employees is planning “a week of in-person and virtual walkouts in protest of the company’s handling of the situation.”