One day after Disney CEO Bob Chapek came out against the Parental Rights in Education bill, Governor Ron DeSantis responded forcefully with references to China and woke corporations.
On Wednesday, Chapek addressed the parental rights legislation at a shareholders meeting by saying, “I know that many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill. We were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we felt we could be more effective working behind the scenes. …”
Chapek told shareholders that in a call to DeSantis he expressed his disappointment and “concern that if the legislation becomes law it could be used to target LGBTQ+ kids and families.”
Chapek also noted that Disney is “reassessing our approach to advocacy, including political giving in Florida and beyond.”
Late Thursday, DeSantis told supporters in Boca Raton there is “zero” chance he’s going to reverse his position on disallowing the instruction of “transgenderism in kindergarten classrooms.”
And then DeSantis responded to Chapek’s comments
“How do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China? Because that’s what they do, and they make a fortune, and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices at the hands of the CCP,” DeSantis said.
“Companies that have made a fortune catering to families should understand that parents don’t want this injected into their kid’s kindergarten classroom. Our policies will be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not the musing of woke corporations.” DeSantis said.
— Christina Pushaw 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) March 10, 2022
Disney has been criticized in the national media and by progressive elected officials in Florida for not publicly opposing the legislation.
Florida Representative Anna V. Eskamani, who represents parts of Orlando, called on “the Walt Disney Company to STOP donating to the campaigns of state lawmakers that sponsor anti-LGBTQ+bills, like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. …”
And now it is DeSantis who is criticizing Disney.
Steve Mort, editor with Central Florida’s PBS station, tweeted, “It seems that @Disney has managed to unite Democrats and Republicans … around behind angry at them. Some may say a total public relations disaster for the company.”
DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw responded by noting that “Corporations should stop meddling in social issues and waging progressive culture wars. It’s a lose lose situation for them. Just drop the woke nonsense and stay in your lane, corporations.”
— Steve Mort (@mobilemort) March 10, 2022
The bill is currently awaiting action from DeSantis after passing the House 69-47 and the Senate 22-17.
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Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0.