Disney Channel to stop promoting ‘gay propaganda’
Disney has announced plans to stop using the term “gay propaganda” in its programming, and it will instead use the term to refer to the content of gay movies and TV shows.
In a statement, Disney said it has decided to “move beyond the harmful term” that “has become the default term” for the media company’s programs.
It said it wants to focus on what it considers to be the “positive” and “true” portrayals of gay people, including diversity and inclusion.
It also said it would be more clear on its platforms and in its communications with the public that Disney will not use “homosexual propaganda.”
The announcement came as the gay-rights group GLAAD filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Disney and the network it runs.
The group said it plans to sue over the company’s decision to ban the term.
GLAADE said in its lawsuit that it had previously called on Disney to stop “using its programming to glorify a harmful, anti-gay agenda.”
The group’s CEO, Ben Stiller, said in a statement that the network had “done the right thing in taking this action and we’re grateful that Disney has finally realized its mistake.”
GLAad filed a complaint in April 2014, saying that the Disney network “promotes and rewards a culture of homophobia” that is “harmful and dangerous.”
It said the network “regularly and repeatedly” promotes “homophobic messages and imagery.”
The network said in an email that it was taking “a hard look at our approach to this issue.”
It also cited a 2015 report by the U.K.-based Equality and Human Rights Commission, which said the Disney Channel was “treating gay and lesbian people in a way that is antithetical to the values of its viewers.”
GLAS also released a video, “Don’t Tell Us Gay,” in which GLAade said that Disney “is telling gay and bisexual people that it is okay to be gay, that they are worthy of love, and that they should celebrate being who they are.”
“This isn’t the way we should be celebrating ourselves, and Disney’s actions should be a wake-up call to every American that we are not in this together,” Stiller said.
“We can do better.”
GLAs lawsuit was the latest in a long line of cases filed by GLAID and other LGBT groups seeking to force Disney to take action against the network.
Disney said in 2016 that it would stop using “homophobia” as a title in its content.
It will also stop using a gay-themed tagline in its shows.
GLAS sued in May to stop Disney from using the same tagline on its own channel, “Celebrity Family Fun.”
The lawsuit was one of several legal challenges against the cable network that has been filed in state courts.
Disney and GLAOAD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The company has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups before.
The ACLU sued Disney in June over its decision to not allow an interview with GLAOS co-founder and former CEO David Geffen, who was ousted in 2016.
The lawsuit claimed that the decision violated the group’s First Amendment rights.
GLOAD filed suit in July, claiming that Disney’s decision violated a California law that bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
GLAs attorney, Roberta Kaplan, called the lawsuit “a very dangerous precedent” and said that it showed that Disney and other companies “have no respect for the First Amendment.”
GLASH is an acronym for Gay Lesbian and Straight Athletes and Ally Members.