Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, seen speaking at an event in February, said a Disney executive ‘crossed the line’ by pressuring against a controversial new bill restricting lessons about sexual orientation or gender identity to grades four and above, and only when age-appropriate. (John Raoux / AP)
By Abby Liebing March 29, 2022 at 3:48pm
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has criticized Walt Disney Co. after the company said that the “Parental Rights in Education bill” (popularly but inaccurately known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill) should be repealed.
DeSantis signed the bill into law on March 28, Politico reported.
Disney tweeted a statement condemning the bill and saying they are in full support of LGBTQ+ rights.
Statement from The Walt Disney Company on signing of Florida legislation: pic.twitter.com/UVI7Ko3aKS
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) March 28, 2022
DeSantis responded to this statement, saying that Disney had “crossed the line.”
“I think they crossed the line,” he said during a press conference at the state Capitol, Politico reported. “We’re going to make sure we’re fighting back when people are threatening our parents and threatening our kids.”
The controversial bill does not actually say anything about “gay” in it.
The bill states that lessons about sexual orientation or gender identity are banned outright in kindergarten through third grade.
Do you agree with the Florida bill that DeSantis just signed into law?
Lessons are also prohibited in other grades unless they are “age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate.”
Even legal experts say that the whole idea of “don’t say gay” being in the bill is a “distraction” that simply denotes a political stance, not an actual legal action against speech, NBC News reported.
But Disney still came out in opposition of the bill, taking the position that it is oppressive to the LGBTQ+ community.
DeSantis called Disney’s efforts to call for a repeal of the bill dishonest.
“For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and they are going to actively work to repeal it — I think, one, was fundamentally dishonest. But two, I think that crossed the line,” DeSantis said at a press conference, the New York Post reported.
“This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives. They do not run this state. They do not control this state,” the governor added.
DeSantis also directly criticized Disney for its other stances.
He called out Disney for its rumored connection to Uyghur oppression in China.
When Disney made the live-action version of “Mulan,” they filmed part of the movie in the province where the Uyghur concentration camps are, the BBC reported.
China expert Adrian Zenz told the BBC that Disney was “an international corporation profiteering in the shadow of concentration camps.”
The World Uyghur Congress tweeted that “in the new Mulan, Disney thanks the public security bureau in Turpan, which has been involved in the internment camps in East Turkistan.”
DeSantis attacked Disney for this.
“Corporate executives do not run this state… If we would’ve put in the bill that you are not allowed to discuss the oppression of the Uyghurs in China, Disney would’ve endorsed that in a second,” he said.
Ron DeSantis fires back at Disney for opposing the parents rights bill:
“Corporate executives do not run this state… If we would’ve put in the bill that you are not allowed to discuss the oppression of the Uyghurs in China, Disney would’ve endorsed that in a second.” pic.twitter.com/VQ3rXY486K
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 29, 2022
Disney executive CEO Bob Chapek said that Disney would be willing to meet with DeSantis to discuss the law, the New York Post reported.
DeSantis has only agreed to go through with a meeting with Disney if “they keep the discussion to facts about what’s actually in the legislation — not false partisan narratives,” a spokeswoman for the governor said.