Who is Karey Burke? Disney president vows that HALF of all characters will represent LGBTQIA or racial minorities
Disney is one of the biggest production companies in the world right now and whatever it does becomes a trend. From making ground-breaking animation movies to emotionally charged-up TV shows, Disney has always been a force to be reckoned with. Apart from doing the aforementioned things, the production house is also known for taking a firm stand against things that make people’s lives problematic.
The so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill was passed by the Senate of Florida that would prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity”. The entire nation has united against the disgraceful law and is putting pressure on the government to take some action on the matter. However, Disney has made sure that they will not accept the law and will continue to feature LGBTQIA+ characters in their projects.
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Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment, has made it clear that “half” of the characters in their upcoming projects will represent the LGBTQIA+ community or minorities. She also assured that viewers will be able to see that change coming into effect by the end of the year. The president didn’t hold back in slamming the law and confirming that she’ll make sure that representation will continue to be an important point for the organization.
Not a lot of people know who is Karey Burke, so let’s dive deeper and get to know more about the ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
Who is Karey Burke? Disney president is a mother of two Queer children
Karey Burke has been working in the entertainment industry for long now and got worldwide recognition when Walt Disney’s ABC Entertainment announced her as the President in 2018. She was given the responsibilities for the development, casting, programming marketing, and scheduling services for ABC primetime, late-night, and daytime. As soon as he took the charge of the company, she showed that she possesses an excellent skill-set. During the 2019-2020 Television season, ABC had 12 of the 50 highest-rated shows across the US.
However, she soon got a bigger role. She worked as the President of the studio 20th Television. ‘The Simpsons’, ‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘Family Guy’, ‘Bob’s Burgers’, ‘This Is Us’, and ‘American Horror Story’ are some of the shows that come under this banner.
Since December 2020, Burke is working as the President of Disney General Entertainment. With great powers, comes great responsibility and greater challenges. One of the challenges was how to convey to the public that Disney is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and make them realize that they will continue to show characters from the aforementioned community.
During the company-wide Zoom call on Monday, March 28, Burke revealed that the “Don’t Say Gay” bill issue is really close to her heart because she is a mother of two “Queer” children and it was her responsibility to stand up for the people from LGBTQ+ community. She said, “I'm here as the mother of two queer children, actually, one transgender child and one pansexual child, and also as a leader. I have heard so much from so many of my colleagues over the past few weeks in open forums, through emails, and through phone conversations. I feel a responsibility to speak not just for myself but also for [my kids].”
Burke’s statements come almost a few days after Disney announced that it would be “reinstating” a kissing scene between two women in the upcoming animation movie ‘Lightyear’, a spin-off of the highly popular ‘Toy Story’ franchise.
Disney has introduced a lot of openly-queer characters in its movie. Most recently, Jack Whitehall played a “gay” character in the movie ‘Jungle Cruise’ and earned a lot of applause for his performance.
As far as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill is concerned, the Walt Disney Company has already made it clearthat it will do everything in order to repeal the legislation. The organization also admitted that the law should have never passed in the senate. The organization said, “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has already faced a backlash for taking a soft stand against the bill, but he is now making sure that the bill doesn’t come into effect.