We’re breaking up with you. It’s not us, it’s you.
Disney Professional Interns and Freeform
What are YOU breaking up with? On Wednesday, March 27, a group of professional interns from all across the company kicked oppressive societal standards to the curb and attended the second annual Freeform Summit, held in Hollywood, CA at Goya Studios. This year’s theme, “The UnPageant,” flipped the traditional idea of exclusive pageantry and idolization on its head, and opted for the tagline, “Providing a stage for everyone to have a voice and be ambassadors of change” – and the rest of the summit went above and beyond on that promise, not only featuring speakers with impressive credentials, but also varying diverse backgrounds and experiences. Just a handful of them included Kenya Barris (executive producer of “grown-ish,” “black-ish,” and “Unrelated”), Gigi Gorgeous (Internet star and author), Patrick Starr (Beauty guru and YouTube personality), Francia Raisa (Star of “grown-ish”), NyleDiMarco (Actor, model, and activist), and so many more. There were even stage-stealing musical performances by Sofia Carson, Trevor Jackson, and Diggy Simmons.
The four panels featured topics like young adult influence on society, self-love and expression, attraction versus implicit bias on and off-screen, and the future of representation. “Young Adults Keep Ruining Everything” delved into the transformative role millennials and Generation Z have on reshaping society (despite our reputation as avocado-toast-gobbling Instagram zombies…), while “Be Whoever the FF You Want” stressed the importance of doing away with harmful stereotypes in the entertainment industry. “Why Won’t You Date Me?” was an eye-opening deep-dive into the very real love-life struggles of anybody who doesn’t strictly adhere to white, hegemonic heteronormativity, and “A Stage For Everyone” was an eye to the future regarding what’s to come with a new generation of changemakers calling the shots. These inspirational panels were chock-full of valuable insights, personal anecdotes, and passionate discussions.
And amidst the incredible conversations on-stage, there was plenty to do in-between panels and performances! With an open bar and free food making the rounds (the tuna poke cones and brie-bacon puff pastry were to DIE for), there was no shortage of mingling amongst Disney professional interns, other industry professionals, and of course, celebrities, who were out and about blowing kisses in the photo booth and chasing down waiters for another slider hors d’oeuvre just like the rest of us. (who knew!?) Interns were also able to be stars for the night, with professional hair and makeup artists stationed at the event to give everyone the celebrity treatment of bouncy volume and blinding highlight.
The summit was not only a lot of fun and an incredible professional opportunity for Disney Professional Interns all across the company, but was also a refreshing reminder of the power of unapologetic individuality. We can’t wait to see what kind of FFun FFestivities Freeform comes up with next year!