In the name of "diversity" and "inclusion," Disney announced that it will soon permit staffs and cast members at theme parks to freely express themselves including dressing up according to their gender preferences.
The announcement was dropped by Josh D'Amaro who is the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Amaro said that they're adding "Inclusion" to the company's long-standing "Four Keys" tradition of fostering "Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency at its parks."
He explained in Disney's blog that the addition of a Fifth Key came when they solicited inputs from casts members around the world in 2019.
The chairman continued that the "new key" aims to "cultivate a culture of belonging" at the company and guide its efforts to "realize our rich legacy of engaging storytelling, exceptional service, and Disney magic," noted The Blaze.
Part of the changes seen under the new key is a reworking of the policies that set guidelines for cast members on their apparels and costumes.
"Our new approach provides greater with respect to forms of personal expression surrounding gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, and costume choices; and allowing appropriate visible tattoos," stated D'Amaro in a blog post. "We're updating them to not only remain relevant in today's workplace, but also enable our cast members to better express their cultures and individuality at work."
Moreover, Disney will also remove gender references on staff costumes to truly mirror "flexibility" under the fifth corporate key. This was confirmed by a spokesperson from the company to BuzzFeed.
D'Amaro's announcement followed Disney's resolution to scrub off all references to gender in its employee dress code handbook.
"Moving forward, we believe our cast, who are at the center of the magic that lives in all our experiences, can provide the best of Disney's legendary guest service when they have more options for personal expression - creating richer, more personal and more engaging experiences with our guests," D'Amaro continued.
These soon to be implemented changes reportedly came after Disney published an advisory stating that there were offensive elements like racist "stereotypes," "negative depictions," and "mistreatment of people or cultures" in films like "Dumbo," "Peter Pan," and "The Aristocrats."
"These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it, and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together," states their 12-second disclaimer on their streaming platform.
Aside from costumes and films, Disney has also been updating their rides, reports The Hill. Taking advantage of the coronavirus down time, the company replaced any deemed racist depictions in the "Jungle Cruise" and "Splash Mountain" with something that is more inclusive.
D'Amaro said that this is just the beginning of their work "toward a world where all belong" through the reimagined Disney Parks that showcase diversity and inclusivity.
"There's more to do, but we're committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements," he added in the recently published blog post.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are set to re-open on April 30, confirms Deadline.