Walt Disney Pictures visual effects workers voted to unionize under the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb, in a statement, said the workers’ collective action “represents a seismic shift in this critical moment in our industry.” “This unanimous vote sends a clear message that the demands of VFX workers for dignity, respect, and fairness must be heard,” Loeb said. VFX workers have historically been nonunionized, despite working alongside crew members who have long been organized under IATSE. Earlier this year, VFX workers at Disney’s Marvel Studios voted to join the union.
After being severely criticized by LGBTQ Disney and Pixar employees and supporters, and groups including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign over his lack of response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has issued an apology to the company’s workers, and announced a “pause” in political donations in Florida.