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Happy Pride: Disney Faces New Sexual Orientation Lawsuit

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday June 2, 2021

ABC Signature vice president of finance Joel Hopkins celebrated the beginning of Pride Month on June 1 by filing a sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit against Disney.

As reported by Deadline, Hopkins, who identifies as gay, says he was put on a "dead-end career track and repeatedly denied promotions" after superiors learned of his sexuality.

Defendants named in the lawsuit, filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, include Walt Disney Company, ABC Signature Studios, Inc., and Riverside Television Services LLC.

"Plaintiff has direct and repeated complaints to HR about the discrimination he has endured while employed by Defendants and, concomitantly, the related failures to promote him and to pay him at the same level as other department heads," said the complaint, Deadline reports. "... Plaintiff is informed and believes that yet again, in or around April 2021, several promotions occurred, but Plaintiff once again was not promoted."

The 10-page filing accuses the named defendants of violating California's Fair Employment and Housing Act. Hopkins is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and various lawsuit costs to compensate for the earnings he might have gained had he been promoted accordingly.

Representatives for Disney have yet to respond to the filing, but the full complaint is avaiable online.

Although filing the lawsuit on the first day of Pride Month might seem like an ironic twist, Hopkins accusations serve as a sobering reminder of what Pride is really about.