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Disney Executive Says Company Targeted Gen-Z, Millennials with Content Geared Toward 'Inclusion'

'Nobody stopped us because we were targeting Gen-Z and Millennials,' said Disney President of General Entertainment

Disney’s leadership has stated that the company has sought to increase content focused on LGBTQ+ culture as it targets a younger generation. 

Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, said that her son sent her a text saying, “Gen-Z is 30-40 percent queerer than other generations, Mom, so Disney better get with it.” 

The leaked footage comes from Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” forums, which have worked to serve as Disney’s “way of amplifying underrepresented voices and untold stories as well as championing the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment.” 

During the forum’s Zoom meeting, details were shared about the directives and content development by the company on its television network Freeform. 

Burke explained the thought process behind increasing LGBTQ+ content when she led Disney’s cable channel Freeform.

“It was very much in the brand ethos of Freeform to be the tip of the spear when it comes to inclusion,” she said. “And we jumped up and down; we celebrated that, nobody stopped us, and it felt great. In part, I think, nobody stopped us because we were targeting Gen-Z and Millennials.”

Generation Z includes individuals that were born between 1997 and 2012. This group is now aged 10-25. By comparison, Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. This group now ranges in age from 26 to 41.

“We were targeting a younger, I think, more open-minded generation,” Burke continued as she referred to her son’s text message stating: “‘Gen-Z is 30-40% queerer than other generations.'”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has come under fire as a result of not being more oppositional to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill from the onset. 

The bill, which was approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 28, prohibits Florida’s school system from teaching students in kindergarten through third grade about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Chapek has apologized for not being more sympathetic to the challenges confronting the LGBTQ community. 

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights,” Chapek wrote in a company email on March 11 according to Variety. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”

Opponents argue that the new Florida law discriminates against LGBTQ people and bans students from speaking freely about sexual orientation and gender identity. President Joe Biden called the bill “hateful.”

However, the language of the legislation does not specifically restrict general discussion by students or teachers if the subject were to be initiated by student inquiry or in a setting other than a teacher’s lesson plans. 

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