was announced internally to Disney cast members last year. But its formal announcement to the public now should signal that the public should be prepared to see some different looks from on-stage Disney cast members in the near future.Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro this morning officially announced the addition of "Inclusion" as the Fifth Key in Disney's theme park operations, joining Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency. The addition
Which is the whole point of "inclusion," isn't it?
To accommodate this "Fifth Key," Disney again will be changing its famous "Disney Look" appearance rules, in order to "enable our Cast Members to better express their cultures and individuality at work," D'Amaro said.
"Our new approach provides greater flexibility with respect to forms of personal expression surrounding gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, and costume choices; and allowing appropriate visible tattoos."
Of course, the word "appropriate" in this directive means that Disney will continue to retain some judgment over cast members' appearance, so do not expect this push for inclusion to become a standardless free-for-all. But the appearance standards that Disneyland adopted at its 1955 opening reflected a mindset that was not as open to the wide variety of races, ethnicities, gender identities and cultural backgrounds that have fought for inclusion in American society today.
Disney has changed its Disney Look guidelines in the past, so today's announcement is not unprecedented. Indeed, D'Amaro said that more changes may be coming.
"This is just the beginning as we continue to work toward a world where we all belong – including a more diverse and inclusive Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. There’s more to do, but we’re committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements."
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