Disney has reportedly signed a branded content development agreement with LGBTQ+ owned and operated media company equalpride in an attempt to create "systematic and meaningful change."
The move comes as the entertainment giant ramps up its efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion not only within the company, but in the content it produces and causes it supports as well.
"What we're trying to do is create systematic and meaningful change in the end," Disney advertising exec John Campbell said during a recent roundtable discussion with Adweek about the partnerships. "We can't do that if we're not consistent and intentional. None of us are here for the heritage months only. We all activate 365 days a year."
Campbell went on to explain that, "these collaborations are a natural extension of our ongoing commitment to reflect the diversity of our audience, the workforce, and the world in which we do business and are part of our multifaceted, long-term approach to intentionally and authentically reach our viewers."
Disney Advertising is responsible for advertising on the Walt Disney Company’s offerings, including ABC, ABC News, Disney+, Disney Channel, ESPN Networks, FX, Hulu, and more.
As part of the deal, equalpride will operate as the primary production partners for independently produced content, and launch short-form series that brands can "get involved with."
Equalpride has partnered with dozens of world-renowned brands including Universal, Hulu, Netflix, and Pfizer, to push LGBTQ-centric content.
During its partnership with Lexus, for example, equalpride produced a miniseries, Out, which "follows two families' stories of evolution from the traditional American family." The series detailed the life of a gay couple and their child, who explained that owning and driving a Lexus had allowed them to live authentically.
Along with equalpride, Disney also announced partnerships with Mecenas Media and Group Black, companies that highlight Hispanic and black voices, respectively.
"Increasingly what delivers the most impact, content-wise, is content that reflects every aspect of our society," Mecenas Media CEO Emiliano Saccone said. "It seems to me that honesty rules, and so I believe brands are increasingly more appreciative of that,” Saccone said during the roundtable discussion. “So for the content that we’ll be producing together with Disney, I think the underlying theme for me in my mind has to do with purpose."
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