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Actors’ Equity Association Releases Video Targeting Walt Disney World’s Lack of COVID-19 Testing and Face Masks for Performers

Walt Disney World and the Actors’ Equity Association have been butting heads about the reopening of the theme parks. Disney previously said that they would love to reopen stage shows, but the Actors’ Equity Association has been pushing back.

Reportedly, the Actors’ Equity Association is requesting face masks and regular COVID-19 testing for all performers but Disney has denied these requests. Because of this, union members are not working and stage shows like Finding Nemo – The Musical and Festival of the Lion King have not resumed performances at Walt Disney World. In fact, the show “Up! A Great Bird Adventure,” which took place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, didn’t even reopen with the park and was replaced with the new show, “Feathered Friends in Flight,” due to Disney’s dispute with the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents performers in the resort’s stage shows, including the performers who played Russell, Dug, and Wilderness Explorer Troop Leader Jones.

Image courtesy of Joshua Meyer

Mary McColl, the executive director of the Actors’ Equity Association, has said the following.

If Disneyland has postponed, it is unclear how Walt Disney World can responsibly move toward reopening when coronavirus cases are much worse in Florida.

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Actors’ Equity Association has released a new video about their concerns. The background of the video Walt Disney World’s “Welcome Home” video, which features Cast Members and characters in face masks saying “welcome home” to the camera. Actors’ Equity Association has added to this an ever-increasing counter of Florida’s COVID-19 cases as of July 20, while the video turns black-and-white and the audio becomes distorted. At the end, it fades to white and shows Florida’s chart of cases with the text “Disney has locked performers out.”

You can watch the full video from the Actors’ Equity Association Facebook below.

Keep reading WDWNT for continuing coverage of this ongoing story.

  1. I don’t understand what they want. You can’t perform with a mask, it’s impossible for the audience to hear you clearly and dangerous to the performer’s health. Also, their video seems to be criticizing Disney for opening at all, meaning they don’t think anyone should be there. So what is it they want?

  2. I don’t understand why/how Disney would balk at testing. As for masks, Disney can afford to make custom masks with the wearer’s face on them. They can play recorded music and have the singers lip-sync. Under the mask. Who could tell?

  3. Good riddance to them. Let Disney hire people who actually want to work there. These unions do nothing to help anything.

  4. Pretty harsh from a union that should be working in favor of getting members back to work. Did they even ask their members what they wanted. Not sure why the union would not try harder. #defund the union.

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