A Disney executive pushing for more LGBTQ content in its productions said her son told her the brand needed to “get with it” because Gen Z is “queerer” than other generations, according to newly leaked footage from a company-wide meeting.
Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, suggested during Monday’s Zoom meeting that it made sense for the business to push for more inclusivity.
“My son texted me this morning: ‘Gen Z is 30-40 percent queerer than the other generations, Mom, so Disney better get with it’,” Burke told employees during the meeting.
The clip, which was only posted on Twitter on Thursday by journalist Christopher Rufo, is one of several to emerge from the meeting held as part of Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” campaign.
Burke said in the leaked clip that when she previously headed Disney’s cable channel Freeform, they “celebrated” the push for inclusion.
“When I was at 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.
“Nobody stopped us and it felt great. In part, I think nobody stopped us because we were targeting Gen Z and millennials.”
Burke added that the generations being targeted were “younger” and “more open-minded.”
In a separate clip leaked on Tuesday from the same meeting, Burke described herself as a “mother of two queer children.”
“I’m here as a mother of two queer children, actually,” Burke said on the call. “One transgender child and one pansexual child, and also as a leader.”
Burke went on to say that she supports featuring “many, many” characters who are LGBTQ and was dismayed to learn the company only had a “handful” of queer lead characters in its content.
“And I went, ‘What? That can’t be true,’” Burke said in the earlier clip. “And I realized it actually is true.”
The push for inclusivity comes as the entertainment giant works to make underrepresented groups, including racial minorities and the LGBTQ community, account for at least 50 percent of its regular characters by the end of the year.
It also comes in the wake of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing legislation that bans teachers in the state from discussing LGBTQ topics — like sexual orientation or gender identity — with students unless they’re in the fourth grade or higher.
Disney has denounced the new law and vowed to fight to repeal it.