The Walt Disney Company has hired a former spokesperson for the Biden administration and other political camps to serve as the lead spokesperson and executive vice-president of global communications.
Kristina Schake led President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 education efforts on the vaccine front and previously worked with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. She was also a communications director for former first lady Michelle Obama and worked for former President Barack Obama, as Fox News noted.
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One of Schake’s previous positions that stands out — especially in light of Disney’s current cultural chaos surrounding LGBTQ issues — is her 2009 co-founding of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which defended gay marriage in California.
Disney trumpets this role in her official company bio, writing, “Ms. Schake co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which led the successful bipartisan public awareness campaign and legal challenge to restore marriage equality in California.”
In a statement, the company highlighted her other roles, including with the Biden administration and Instagram.
“Schake has spent three decades working at the nexus of government, media, business, entertainment, and technology,” a Disney statement reads. “Most recently, she was appointed by President Biden to lead the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine education campaign and was previously Global Communications Director for Instagram.”
The company also tweeted about the announcement, further expressing its elation over bringing Schake on board in a lead communications role.
“We’re pleased to welcome Kristina Schake as Executive Vice President of Global Communications,” Disney tweeted Tuesday. “She will be responsible for our worldwide communications strategy and operations, and serve as the Company’s lead spokesperson.”
Schake shared the announcement and said she is “honored” to join the legendary kids’ brand.
I’m honored to be joining @WaltDisneyCo as Executive Vice President of Global Communications. I have long admired Disney’s unique connection to people around the world and I’m thrilled to become part of the magic as the company approaches its 100th anniversary. https://t.co/6tsYCiK7wY— Kristina Schake (@kristina_schake) April 5, 2022
“I have long admired Disney’s unique connection to people around the world, and I’m thrilled to become part of the magic as the company approaches its 100th anniversary,” she said.
Schake’s newfound role with Disney comes as the children’s entertainment company is embroiled in a war of words with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) over the Sunshine State’s new Parental Rights in Education law, which critics have vociferously dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay bill.”
As Faithwire previously reported, the word “gay” doesn’t actually appear in the text, with the law, in practice, banning educators from teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation from pre-K through third grade.
Disney at first remained quiet on the bill when the news was still percolating, with CEO Bob Chapek taking heat for refusing to repudiate it. Then, after pressure mounted, Disney went all in.
Now, the company is pledging to help efforts to repeal the law, releasing a statement March 28 that dug its heels in on the matter.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” Disney said. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
The law goes into effect in July.
It’s unclear what will happen next in Disney’s spat with DeSantis, though any further messaging on the matter, it would seem, could pass through or be shaped by Schake.
Schake will report to Disney’s chief corporate affairs officer Geoff Morrell.
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