The Walt Disney Company has promoted Theresa Helmer to a newly created executive role at Disney Channel to bolster inclusive storytelling.
Named executive director of integrated content strategy and development, Helmer will be responsible for helping Disney Channel spotlight underrepresented groups in its content for kids ages two to 14. She will work closely across a number of Disney Channel divisions, including consumer insights, movie and series development, marketing, current series (short- and long-form), the channel’s educational resource group, and creative content and diversity at Disney Television Animation.
Helmer will be based in LA and report to Disney Channels Worldwide’s president and chief creative officer, Gary Marsh.
She most recently served as director of social media strategy in Disney Channel’s marketing group. Helmer joined Disney in 2014 as a social media analyst for parks and resorts before working her way up to manager of platform strategy for Disney Channel’s consumer insights and programming department.
For the past two years, she was also the co-president of The Bond, a volunteer resource group at Disney that champions Black employees and Black consumer interests at the House of Mouse.
Helmer’s promotion follows research by UCLA that found that more than half of current scripted shows on Disney and Nickelodeon feature people of color or members of the LGBTQ community as main characters. Disney’s ongoing efforts to improve diversity in front of and behind the camera include Beyonce’s hit Disney+ film Black is King and new Disney Channel original film order Spin directed by Manjari Makijany.