Governor blasts Disney’s opposition to recently signed law
Florida governor Ron DeSantis has spoken out against Disney’s recent announcement that they will “work to repeal” the Parental Rights in Education bill, referred to by critics as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which was signed into law on Monday and prohibits teachers in Florida from discussing sexuality and gender identity with children in kindergarten through third grade.
“For them to say that they’re going to work to repeal substantive protections for parents, as a company that’s supposedly marketing its services to parents with young children, I think they crossed the line,” said DeSantis.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show, the governor condemned the fact that Disney, a California-based company, claimed it would work to impose California-based values in Florida and work to overturn a duly-enacted law which was supported by the majority of Floridians.
“They don’t run this state. They will never run this state as long as I’m governor,” he proclaimed.
DeSantis also claimed that Disney “didn’t say anything when this was going through the House,” adding that “they only started doing this because the woke mob came after them.”
The governor accused Disney of hypocrisy, by stating it had no issues with running cruises to the island of Dominica, where homosexuality is criminalized, and that if Florida had “done a bill that prohibited talking about the abuse of Uyghurs in China, Disney would have supported that legislation because they won’t say a word about that,” referring to Disney’s apparent double standards when it comes to marketing their products in China.
“They’re fine lining their pockets from the [Chinese Communist Party] and all the atrocities that go on there, but it’s those kindergarteners in Florida that they really want to have transgenderism as part of their core curriculum in school,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis concluded by saying those who opposed the bill by labeling it as anti-gay were building their argument on a fake narrative and a lie.
“They have to lie because if they admitted to what they were really for, sexualizing kindergarteners and first graders, they know that would not fly with the public,” said the governor.
Earlier, The Walt Disney Company, one of Florida’s largest employers, made a statement through a spokesperson, saying House Bill 1557 – the Parental Rights in Education bill – “should have never happened and should have never been signed into law” and vowed to work to repeal the legislation.
DeSantis initially responded to Disney, as well as the slew of corporations, politicians, and media outlets who have condemned the bill since it was signed on Monday, by saying, “If the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars and as heroes, if those are the types of people and all that that are opposing us on parents’ rights, I wear that like a badge of honor.”
“We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” the governor said.
Florida’s HB 1557 has seen widespread condemnation from the LGBTQ community and its allies in the mainstream media ever since it was first introduced. Despite the fact that the bill does not actually prohibit anyone from saying the word ‘gay’ and only prevents teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity with elementary school children, critics have decried it as an attack on the queer population of Florida and an attempt to “censor and exclude an entire community of people” from public schools.
Some LGBTQ workers at Disney have been staging walkouts in protest of the bill since it passed the legislature, and the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, has apologized for not speaking about it more publicly sooner. Disney’s executives initially felt it would be better to stay away from the political controversy, but after facing backlash from activists and employees, have since paused political contributions to supporters of the bill and have reportedly been urging lawmakers to repeal or strike it down in courts.
US President Joe Biden has also opposed the bill, which he has condemned as “hateful,” writing on Twitter that, “Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are. My Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family – in Florida and around the country.”