Content and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Stories shape how we see ourselves and everyone around us. As storytellers, we have the power to uplift and inspire. We believe that forging meaningful connections with our consumers contributes to the growth and viability of the Company, so we purposefully champion a multitude of voices and perspectives.
Our Commitment to Inclusive Storytelling
We are committed to inspiring a more inclusive world by reimagining the way we tell stories and who tells them. Our intention is to broaden access and diversity in our industry by adopting inclusion standards across Disney General Entertainment and live-action Studio* productions by the end of 2022, with the goal of advancing representation in front of and behind the camera, in marketing and more.
* Disney General Entertainment is the collection of The Walt Disney Company’s entertainment and news properties across a portfolio of television brands and businesses, including ABC Entertainment, ABC Signature, ABC News, Freeform, ONYX Collective, Twentieth Television Studios, FX Networks and FX Productions, Hulu Originals, Disney Branded Television (including the Disney Channel networks), and National Geographic. Disney Studios Content is the collection of The Walt Disney Company’s entertainment properties creating content across a portfolio of brands; the live-action brands include Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures.
We champion a multitude of voices in our storytelling across dimensions of diversity, including racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, gender, LGBTQ+, mental health, people with disabilities and veterans status. While we are proud of our inclusive storytelling, we recognize that we still have much to do and will continue to work to increase representation and change narratives.
Increasing Creative Talent Behind the Camera
Content Inclusion Standards
Content inclusion standards hold us accountable to our DEI intentions and serve as a catalyst for real and sustained change. Disney General Entertainment (DGE), ABC Entertainment, and National Geographic have led the way, launching standards to increase inclusion of underrepresented groups onscreen, in writing and directing jobs, and below the line. Other content creation engines within Disney have initiated their brand-specific standards and will be rolling them out in the future.
Diverse Writers and Directors Program
This innovative television staffing program, in place for more than thirty years, aims to staff emerging and diverse television writers and directors on Disney General Entertainment (DGE) scripted series.
The Apprenticeship Program creates opportunity and access for top underrepresented entry-level individuals by removing barriers and providing pathways into Disney and the media/entertainment industry as a whole. Apprentices are part of a two-year program where they gain experience supporting creative executives, blended with agency exposure and a curated cohort experience.
This innovative annual program, created in 2019, serves as an entry point for emerging filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. Participants are mentored by Disney creative executives while they create original, live-action shorts for exhibition on Disney+.
Africa Story Lab
The Africa Story Lab builds skills and provides on-set apprenticeships to the next generation of storytellers from across the African continent, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups. In front of the camera, the Lab features African children telling their stories, like that of Kiya, which will be featured on Disney Junior and Disney+.
Disney is a founding sponsor of the groundbreaking industry incubator National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) pipeline program, which addresses the underrepresentation of Hispanic/Latinx creatives in the entertainment industry. This unique multi-studio partnership pairs seasoned producers with fellows in the mentorship and development of the next generation of Hispanic/Latinx producers.
"Our audience is global and diverse. Thus our success is built around being inclusive and celebrating all of the different people in our world – in the stories we are telling and the creators telling those stories. And we will continue to do that on an ever greater scale."
President Physical and Post Production, Visual Effects and Animation Production, Marvel Studios
As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are in the process of reviewing our library and adding advisories to content that includes negative depictions or mistreatment of people or cultures. Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all.
Inclusive Products and Experiences
We are reimagining our products and experiences to be more inclusive to celebrate each person’s unique gifts and ensure everyone can join in the fun.
At our Parks and Resorts, the Inclusion Key guides our renowned approach to service and demonstrates our deep commitment to making everyone who experiences Disney feel welcome. We’re reimagining our attractions to be more inclusive, including enhancements to Jungle Cruise and the new adventures with Princess Tiana. We’re celebrating the diverse and inspiring stories of our cast and fans with exciting experiences like The Soul of Jazz exhibit at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney Pride Collection
New lines of Pride-themed merchandise have been released for the last few years to celebrate Pride Month, with a portion of the profits benefiting organizations around the world that support LGBTQ+ communities.
As Shanghai Disney Resort was being planned, accessible facilities for people with disabilities were incorporated into the design. A comprehensive program, “MagicALL” (A Magical Experience for ALL) was launched to support both guests and Cast Members with disabilities and ensure everyone can truly enjoy all experiences within Shanghai Disney Resort.
Adaptive Apparel and Costumes
Disney offers adaptive, sensory-friendly costumes and wheelchair coverings, bringing accessibility features for kids and adults with disabilities. Disney also launched a collaboration with Irish-based Izzy Wheels, creators of colorful wheelchair covers for children and adults around the world to help bridge the gap between disability and fashion.
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