Raven-Symoné and the cast of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home” walked off the show’s set, in protest of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. On Tuesday, the 36-year-old actress shared a video on her Instagram of her and the series’ cast, including Isaac Ryan Brown, Rondell Sheridan, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Emmy Lui-Wang and Felix Avitia, leaving the set.
“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 ‘Raven’s Home’ are walking out,” she wrote next to the video. “In today’s 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 the clip, Raven and the cast are all in the frame as she holds the camera up to record the video. “What’s up, we’re the cast of ‘Raven’s Home’ and the [executive producers], and we are walking out today in support of this ridiculous bill,” the actress says as she holds up her phone.
“We don’t like it. We’re walking out,” she adds, as Brown, her on-screen son and co-star, adds, “It’s stupid.”
“We love everyone, and support, support. Bye,” Raven says as everyone around her cheers.
Raven, who has been married to her wife, Miranda Maday, since 2020, joins a host of LGBTQ+ employees and allies who work for The Walt Disney Company, who have been leaving their work spaces in protest of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill — also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — which passed on March 8.
The bill prohibits the instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten to third grade and limits lessons about sexual orientation or gender identity in other grades unless they are “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” The bill would also allow parents to sue schools that teach these topics.
Disney Branded Television issued a statement supporting the walkout.
“Production on our series ‘Raven’s Home’ was interrupted today when members of the cast participated in a walkout designed to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community,” the statement read. “Our colleagues have both our respect and our support.”
Since the bill’s passing, employees have been staging daily walkouts in protest of the state’s legislation.
“The Walt Disney Company’s (TWDC) LGBTQIA+ community and their allies are determined to take a stand against TWDC’s apathy in the face of the bigoted ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill put forth by the FL state legislature,” the statement on the website whereischapek.com read. “The recent statements and lack of action by TWDC leadership regarding the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation. As a community, we have been forced into an impossible and unsustainable position.”
The statement continued. “We must now take action to convince TWDC to protect employees and their families in the face of such open and unapologetic bigotry. Starting the week of March 14th we will begin a series of collective actions together in order to make our voices and demands heard!”
In addition to Raven, ESPN’s Elle Duncan participated in the walkouts, while ESPN’s Carolyn Peck and Courtney Lyle remained silent for two minutes on air during Friday’s NCAA Women’s Tournament, in solidarity with their co-workers.
Employees of The Walt Disney Group have taken issue with the way that Disney CEO Bob Chapek initially did not speak out against the bill
As a result, in an internal statement to employees, obtained by CNN, Chapek told employees that he would pledge $5 million to groups advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and protections. Chapek also added that he paused political donations in Florida and would be contacting the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis.
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