Disney offers inspirational ‘It Gets Better’ video featuring Imagineers, Disneyland President and Cast Members

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it-gets-better

The Walt Disney Company has joined in the campaign against bullying with an inspirational new video. Following in the “It Gets Better” series and part of The Trevor Project, Disney Imagineers and Cast Members offer words of advice and encouragement for those who are bullied and feel like there is no hope.

The video opens with Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis addressing “anyone who has ever been bullied, teased, or harassed for being different.” The overall campaign is primarily aimed at those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, as is this video, but Kalogridis makes a point to extend the message to all who need a brighter view of the future.

Video: It Gets Better – Disney

Familiar Disney employees featured in the video beyond Kalogridis include Walt Disney Imagineers Eric Jacobson, Lisa Girolami, and Bruce Vaughn, though their contributions and messages are no more or less important than the many Cast Members who offer their own stories of being bullied for who they are.

The video concludes with Disney’s PRIDE logo, which stands for People Respecting Individual Diversities in Everyone, offering resources, learning opportunities and a supportive network for gay and lesbian Cast Members.

Last year, Pixar also released a similar video:

These powerful videos featuring successful individuals offer a few simple words of hope for those who may not currently find any in their lives. It does get better.

29 Comments

  1. Michael

    Seems like there is a trend of these launching…Ally Burnett just did one too

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ymUhuvokWQ&feature=youtu.be

  2. EricJ

    And those of us ex-Charlie Browns who were bullied in school for the more simple reasons of not being good at gym class, etc., are really….really…HAPPY >:( that the gay/lez community decided to rally the Anti-Bullying campaing -exclusively- into a gay-teen-suicide issue.
    We tried to bring this bit of minority-indulgent marginalization up on another forum and ask whether the issue couldn’t be made more universal for -all- victims, and the gay posters acted like we were bulldozing some native reservation: “Your bullying isn’t our bullying!…This is OUR struggle, go get a campaign of your own!”
    So much for hands across the water–Gee, and to think the gay community keeps being called “self-centered”. 9_9

    1. Greg

      I agree completely Eric. They act as if they are the only people that deal with bullying. I was bullied to as a kid, and oh no, I’m straight. I admire the message against bullying, but because they only want to talk about Gay bullying, it seems more agenda related then bullying realted. And the Pride banner at the end with the Mickey icon as the dot in the i really irritated me.

    2. James

      The difference is that if you were bad in gym class or fat, you probably didn’t have to fear for your life. I grew up in a rural community in Arizona in the 80’s where the fear was so palatable I dropped out of high school in my sophomore year, I was experiencing panic attacks and suicidal depression. For my mother’s sake, I didn’t hang myself, but others have. Maybe they’re beating kids to death for being overweight now, I don’t know, but if they are then a movement should be started. Let me guess, you sound like a white straight male from an upper middle class background who has never met adversity, probably have a trust fund to fall back on. Stop taking your good fortune for granted, if I am right, you didn’t earn it to begin with.

  3. Rachel

    As a part of The Trevor Project, yes this video is obviously intended for a LGBTQ audience–but the message is beautiful, and is something every child/teen/adult needs to hear from time to time (especially during finals week:). Thank you, Disney.

  4. Ian

    If Disney want to really get behind an anti-bullying project, they need to leave it open to all who have been/are being bullied and not rally behind one popular cause. Kids (and adults) get bullied for everything: being short (like me), being fat, speaking with a ‘strange’ accent, having ginger hair, having a birth mark, carrying the ‘wrong’ kind of school bag, wearing the ‘wrong’ (probably cheaper) trainers, not listening to the ‘cool’ music, having an unusual name, wearing glasses, being physically disabled in some way, having a parent in a certain job… seriously the list goes on and on and each kind of bullying is just as bad, just as hurtful. No one group can lay claim to being the most abused; every child needs to be told it gets better,
    I work with children and adults with learning and intellectual difficulties, many of whom have a physical disability. Most of them can’t tell their own story and because of that, they are still too easily ignored. Where’s their video, Disney? Don’t just jump on-board the popular bandwagon. The video started by saying it was for all who are bullied but it followed a definite and well walked path after that. Dare to be different Disney. Speak up for those whose cause is not as easy to consider, not as easy to understand, not as easy to stop and look at.

    1. Greg

      Wow Ian, very well said.

  5. B L Cook

    Thank you for publishing this. Honestly, Disney has had an amazing history of accepting people for who they are as long as they try to live up to their potential.

    For those who feel odd that Disney is backing one specific message, it’s a message of hope. Honestly, I feel bad for any type of bullying, but I’ve been the victim of enough harassment because of my sexuality to know that this is a very scary thing. A message of hope for gays is not a condemnation of straights. We are all beautiful, and we all need to feel loved.

  6. EricJ

    Just to be clear, this wasn’t Disney’s “idea”:
    The Pixar video came out during a whole national issue-push after one well-publicized suicide, and Pixar just happened to be a little…heavy in their sympathetic employee demographic. (I’m not an animator, but I hear it can come with the territory.)
    As for why Disney in general wanted to put out another one, studio chief Rich Ross came out a few years ago–that may be why we keep getting those faux-80’s Disney Channel shows 😉 –so I don’t think we could’ve really expected “everybody’s” video from the beginning.
    Again, it would be nice if they thought they weren’t the only persecuted minority in the universe.

    1. NobleLion

      Rich Ross has failed in his job (the Muppet movie is his latest flop) and will probably be shown the door, thank goodness. Then maybe Disney can escape being reshaped into yet another left-wing movie studio and get back to making good family entertainment.

  7. Josh

    I really don’t understand these demographic-specific anti-bullying campaigns. Isn’t all bullying wrong?

  8. Lisa

    To all: I am sorry for the pain you obviously still feel about being bullied as children. I am also glad to see that you have not ended your lives as a result of this bullying – unfortunately, that is not the case for a recent spate of gay teens, which is why this has become a “popular” issue (such a term disgusts me; this is something that has not been adequately addressed for years and is not faddish in any way).

    I applaud Disney and Pixar for participating and adding a voice of support for ALL bullied kids, especially those who suffer with intolerance due to their sexual or gender orientation.

    Ricky, I am a huge Inside the Magic fan and longtime listener (since 2006!) but I would really appreciate some moderation on these comments. They appear to me as thinly veiled homophobia and prejudice (particularly EricJ’s comment). Wearing glasses or being fat is NOT the same as being gay; historically neither of those would be considered shameful or put you at risk of being killed.

    1. Greg

      Obviously this is a controversial topic, and Ricky must have known it to be so. @Lisa – I know for a fact many many teens commit suicide every year for non-homosexual bullying, believe it or not. The idea to focus on one group only, when Disney finally decides to do something publicly like this, just seems short-sighted. Disney is NOT adding a voice of support for all bullied kids. THAT is the point.

      1. EricJ

        Again: This was not “Disney’s idea” – Last summer’s was a national movement, and Pixar was showing support. What WAS possibly Disney’s idea was the second out-of-nowhere video with the new “Pride” logo (trying to booster support within their built-in Gay-Days audience), trying to put a corporate face and make it look like it WAS Disney’s idea to begin with–The idea was there, it just didn’t have a corporate logo yet.

        And is it seriously “homophobia” or “intolerance” to suggest that people work together? What is the open hostility and paranoia (“Our problems are DIFFERENT!…You just want to silence us again!”) being shown to straight people telling gay people that their problems are not unique, and that they’re not as “special” compared to other people in the world who suffer something very similar even if those people don’t happen to belong to the Secret Pirate Club?
        That’s not “phobia” or “intolerance”, that’s slapping someone with cold water out of their delusions and telling them to rejoin the world again…Or is that what they’re afraid of? Because being Just Somebody Else In the World, without anything special to brag about, is a very scary thing to them.

    2. NobleLion

      Let’s be frank here, Lisa: most people feel an intrinsic revulsion to homosexuality because it’s unnatural, period. (And don’t give me the “gay penguin” argument. As a biology major, I can tell you that there is no hard evidence that homosexuality in animals, fish, birds or insects exists. And speaking of gay penguins, the so-called Adam and Steve pair in the Toronto Zoo has just split up, since one of them found a female: http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/884735-gay-penguins-split-as-buddy-finds-a-female-mate) I am personally sick of the browbeating I receive from political parties and the entertainment industry telling me that I have to embrace what I know to be a lie or else be labeled a bigot. That in itself is a form of bullying in my opinion, and I detest bullying; and as for the Trevor campaign, even though I do not regard homosexuality as being “equal” to heterosexuality in any way (if anyone really believes that it is, nature says “hi”), I think people ought to be left alone as long as they’re not hurting anyone. But bullying is an equal-opportunity scourge – it’s inflicted on all SORTS of people, and I’m disappointed that Disney has hopped on the politically-correct bandwagon and focused on just one group. It ought to be better – and more inclusive – than that.

      1. Leulah

        Look, let’s say we buy into your belief that homosexuality is somehow an, “act.” It’s still not something to be ashamed of or hidden. It is either a “choice” or simply the way a person was made. Either way, there is nothing wrong with it. And even if it is not a quality that you are or are not born with, it is still not “unnatural.” Putting on makeup and dancing around a stage is not natural, yet Natalie Portman and her dance double are amazing. kicking around a ball and putting it into a net is not natural, yet we watch it and do it ourselves. There’s nothing revolting about it, whether it is a choice or not.

        And whether or not you agree with homosexuality, the times, they are a-changing. This is our society. This is the civil rights issue of our day. People in the South had to get used to integration, and you’re going to have to get used to people loving whoever they want to. Not because it is right or wrong, but because this is our world now.

        1. NobleLion

          Oh, here we go with the gay rights and civil rights comparisons. You know, I don’t recall gays being rounded up and forced to work in cotton fields. I don’t recall gays being segregated in schools and being forced to sit in the back of the bus. Blacks were denied rights because of color, which is as superficial a difference as there can be. Gays on the other hand bond with people of the same gender, which is a bond at odds with nature itself, and that is hardly superficial and can’t be disguised as anything but unnatural, no matter how the left tries to rationalize it. As for your smug little statement “this is our society”, well, I’m part of that society too, I’m 23, I have the right to vote and I have as much ability to shape society as you do. And I will continue to vote against gay “marriage” whenever the question occurs on the ballot in my state (which has already banned it, by the way). Civil unions are fine with me – they acknowledge the deep, fundamental difference between gay couples and heterosexual couples while giving gay couples many if not all of the same rights enjoyed by married couples – but marriage is a specific and vital institution than needs to continue to acknowledge the nature-ordained importance and primacy of the male-female bond. Those who try to assert that that bond is negligible in an institution that is the cornerstone of the family are just plain nuts.

          1. Leulah

            The cornerstone of a family is love. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. love is love. Simple as that.

          2. Leulah

            And I have been taught that it is my responsibility to love everyone and stand up for everyone who needs it. Age, gender, sexuality, race, we are all human beings, and we all deserve the same basic rights. I love everyone and I forgive everyone, because that is the right thing to do. We love people, because that is human nature, not heterosexuality. Love. <3

          3. Josh

            I feel like I should get involved, even though most of these comments are wildly off-topic.

            I have to agree with NobleLion here. The fact is that homosexuality is unnatural; that much is certain. And with the divorce rate where it is today, it’s safe to say most people have no idea what love is. Plus, there’s more to it. I love my dog but I’m not about to marry her. Research a woman named Amy Wolfe, who felt sexually attracted to an amusement park ride and planned to marry “him.” Where would you like to draw the line?

            If I may get into my specific beliefs, I don’t think homosexuality is a choice, nor do I believe homosexuals are born that way. In fact, all infants are born asexual; it’s not a trait of your DNA like your hair color. There is evidence showing that particular circumstances during a child’s early development stages of life have an impact on their sexuality, and I’ve seen some of the correlations with my own gay friends. Yes, I have gay friends. I just don’t support their beliefs, like I don’t support my other friends’ alcoholism.

            And to answer Leulah’s last point, if the times weren’t “a-changing”, I wonder, would you sell out your vote to succumb to anti-gay trends, or would you believe what you believe and vote accordingly?

    3. Ian

      So, no children have dieted so much to be more like the thin kids that they’ve put their health in danger or have been bullied so much that they felt like committing suicide? Please!! Pain, suffering, loneliness and feelings of inadequacy are not the reserve of one group. And rather than this being thinly veiled homophobia or prejudice, it is an attempt to recognise all suffering from bullying. Surely the desire for equality is, by definition, a pursuit for all?

  9. James

    The comments to this thread actually underscore why an ad campaign that singles out bullying on account of sexual orientation is a good idea. Yes, kids get bullied for a whole host of reasons, god knows I did as a kid. That said, no one was telling me that I was “unnatural” or any of the other horribly mean-spirited things I’m hearing here. What’s even more shocking is that in a thread about children bullying gays, there are adults (presumably) spewing all of this not-even-thinly-veiled homophobic nonsense. Can’t imagine what kids must be saying.

    I, for one, am happy to see that an organization that is as closely associated with “family values” as any organization on the planet is waving this banner. Further evidence that the voices of tolerance are winning, and that those posting in the comment section here are the ones that are behind the curve.

  10. Michael

    I was very happy to hear Disney getting on board for ‘It Gets Better’…a small step, yes, but very meaningful. Bullying has been thrust in the limelight recently, even though bullying has been a constant for years and years. The ‘It Gets Better’ project was started to specifically help LGBT youth in danger of suicide, and partner with The Trevor Project. Hopefully this campaign will help kids realize that life is what you make it, no matter who you are and EVERYONE deserves a life of dignity, love, and free of hate.

  11. Lisa

    I’m relieved to hear some other voices of reason and empathy in the comments. Seeing such hatred on a website dedicated to a company that espouses kindness, family, and warmth is utterly heartbreaking.

    Kudos to Disney and Pixar for being as accepting and supportive as I hope eventually all will be.

  12. Susan Hayes

    Thankyou Disney for taking a stand and putting this positive message out there. I am the mother of a gay 19 year old daughter who I cherish. This video brought tears to my eyes. It is in no way controvertial. I have always been a huge Disney fan and now I know they share my values.

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