Disney employees marched in protest Friday over the coronavirus vaccine mandate being implemented among workers for the entertainment company.
Marchers protested outside of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, along with others at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, according to Spectrum News.
“I feel like God Almighty led me to not get the vaccination,” said Florida marcher Candee Pull, who has worked for Disney for six years, WFTV-TV reported.
Disney employee Nick Caturano said the issue was not the vaccine but rather the compulsion to take it.
“We understand that COVID-19 is a very real health concern that we all have to take seriously,” Caturano said, according to Spectrum News. “But many cast members have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”
Disney employees face an Oct. 22 deadline for full vaccination, if they belong to a union. Non-unionized members face a Saturday deadline to get their first shot, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Disney workers march in protest of vaccine mandate https://t.co/5OQuZpJY7W
— Valerie Boey FOX 35 (@vboey) September 18, 2021
“People are free to get this vaccine if they feel it’s going to be the best thing for them but to force people to get the vaccine, that’s another story,” Caturano said, according to the Miami Herald.
Caturano said many employees oppose the mandate but are not protesting for fear they will lose their jobs.
“People feel really strongly against it, but they also love their jobs at Disney and don’t want to lose them,” Caturano said.
“I don’t want to lose my job,” he added. “I love my job, but I’m also more afraid that if I don’t speak up now, where does it stop?”
The Sentinel reported Caturano said he and his wife were hit with COVID-19 in April and took ivermectin — a controversial drug that has been used by some for the treatment of COVID-19. He said that the immunity he now has, and his religious beliefs, make him opposed to getting vaccinated.
“I’m not comfortable with taking it,” he said, according to the Herald. “I just can’t see putting it in my body.”
The protests drew about 50 people in Florida and about a handful in California.
Small Group of Cast Members Protest Vaccine Mandate Outside of Disney World Gates Hours Before Deadline https://t.co/QXyNwTFoWI
— BlogMickey.com (@Blog_Mickey) September 17, 2021
Disney is one of the companies that imposed a vaccine mandate even before President Joe Biden dictated that all companies with 100 employees or more have a vaccine mandate in place.
Caturano said those not vaccinated are being pressured.
“After we just lost our jobs during the pandemic and now we are having to face losing our jobs again, a lot of people are panicking,” he said, according to WFTV. “It’s the pressure from people and fellow co-workers that are beginning to look at us like second-class citizens, I’m afraid.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.