Disney has launched a new ‘Pride Collection’ clothing line for kids amid controversy surrounding the company’s reaction to Florida’s new parental rights in education bill and signaled efforts to include advocacy LGBT in its children’s programs.
The family entertainment company launched the new fashion line on Monday, featuring products such as sweaters, t-shirts, baby clothes and other items, all emblazoned with the rainbow pride flag that symbolizes the LGBT movement. The launch of the collection comes two weeks before the start of the so-called Pride month, which LGBT activists recognize every June.
Many products also include LGBT-themed imagery of iconic Disney character Mickey Mouse and the company’s Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar franchises. The company sells the items through its “shopDisney” online store, Disney retail stores and theme parks.
“The Disney Pride Collection was created by LGBTQIA+ employees and allies of The Walt Disney Company and reflects their incredible contributions and place at the heart of the business,” the company wrote in a statement announcing the apparel line. “We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community around the world.”
In an opinion piece published by The Daily Citizen, Zachary Mettler, editor and communications officer for the Christian organization Focus on the Family, claimed that Disney was “targeting” children with an LGBT program.
“The new clothing line is just one part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to promote gender confusion among children,” Mettler told the Christian Post. “Children were not designed to bear the brunt of adult sexuality.”
He further suggested that Disney try to plant the idea in children’s heads that same-sex marriage is morally identical to a marriage between a man and a woman. He said the family entertainment company tries to teach kids that gender is malleable, which he says will “confuse” them and negatively affect them when they become young adults.
In its announcement of the clothing line, Disney pledged to donate all proceeds from the collection through June 30 to various LGBT activist organizations, including: Ali Forney Center, GLSEN, LGBTQ Center OC, Los Angeles LGBT Center, PFLAG National, SF LGBT Center, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.
Mettler sees this as a sign that the company has become more vocal about its stance on LGBT issues than in previous years.
According to Fox Business, the company has been producing Pride-themed clothing for kids every year since 2018, but previously donated only a small percentage of profits. This year, the company also renamed the fashion line from Rainbow Disney Collection to Disney Pride Collection.
“I think parents especially need to be aware of the content their children consume and ideally will proactively discuss these issues with them. In particular topics around sexuality and gender identity, so that their children know how browse the content that these organizations promote,” Mettler said.
On March 11, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek apologized to employees in a letter for not taking a stronger stance against Florida’s HB 1557 bill. The law prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity to students in kindergarten through third grade and requires schools to notify parents. about their child’s health services on campus.
Disney initially remained neutral on legislation that critics called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, changing its stance after criticism from employees and LGBT supporters. The company condemned the bill in a March 28 statement, saying it “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law.”
Weeks after the company first publicly criticized the bill, leaked video footage obtained by Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute showed Disney employees discussing their efforts to promote an LGBT message in the company’s children’s programming. society.
During the reunion, Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau praised the showrunners of the company’s “Proud Family” reboot for sticking to its “not at all secret gay agenda.” The spin-off of the children’s animated series introduces new characters, including a same-sex couple.
Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said Disney had “gone too far” in a Facebook post last month.
“What happened at Disney is a moral failure,” Graham insisted. “Walt Disney had a vision for wholesome family entertainment. He was committed to family. The morals of Disney’s corporate executives today are in the gutter, and they want to redefine family against the original God and display sin.”