Ron DeSantis Accuses Disney of ‘Crossing Boundaries’ and ‘Sexualizing Kindergarteners and First Graders’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has spoken out against Disney’s recent announcement that they “work to repeal” the Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed by critics the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which was signed into law on Monday and bars Florida teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity with children from kindergarten to third grade.
“For them to say they’re going to work to repeal substantial protections for parents, as a company that supposedly markets its services to parents of young children, I think they’ve crossed the line.” said DeSantis.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show, the governor condemned California-based Disney’s claim that it would work to impose California values on Florida and overturn a duly enacted law that was backed by the majority Floridians.
“They don’t run this state. They will never run this state as long as I am governor,” he proclaimed.
DeSantis also claimed that Disney “didn’t say anything when it crossed the Chamber,” adding that “They only started doing this because the awakened crowd came after them.”
The governor accused Disney of hypocrisy, saying it had no problem operating cruises to the island of Dominica, where homosexuality is criminalized, and that if Florida had “made a bill that banned talking about Uyghur abuse in China, Disney would have supported that legislation because they won’t say a word about it,” referring to Disney’s apparent double standard when it comes to marketing its products in China.
“They fill the pockets of the [Chinese Communist Party] and all the atrocities that go on there, but it’s those kindergartners in Florida who really want transgender as part of their core curriculum,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis concluded by saying that those who opposed the bill as anti-gay were building their case on a false narrative and a lie.
“They have to lie because if they admitted what they were really for, sexualizing kindergarteners and first graders, they know it wouldn’t fly with the public,” said the governor.
Earlier, The Walt Disney Company, one of Florida’s largest employers, issued a statement through a spokesperson, saying House Bill 1557 – the Parental Rights in Education Bill. – “should never have happened and should never have been enacted” and pledged to work to repeal the legislation.
DeSantis first responded to Disney, as well as the many corporations, politicians and media outlets who have condemned the bill since it was signed into law on Monday, saying: “If the people who stood up to degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars and heroes, if that’s the kind of people and all that oppose us on parental rights, I wear that as a badge of honor.”
“We will ensure that parents can send their children to school to receive education, not indoctrination,” said the governor.
Florida’s HB 1557 has been widely condemned by the LGBTQ community and its allies in the mainstream media since its launch. Despite the fact that the bill does not actually prohibit anyone from saying the word “gay” and only bars teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity with elementary school children, critics decried it as an attack on Florida’s queer population and an attempt to “censor and exclude an entire community of people” public schools.
Some LGBTQ Disney workers have staged walkouts to protest the bill since it passed the legislature, and company CEO Bob Chapek has apologized for not speaking out about it more publicly sooner. Disney executives initially felt it best to stay away from political controversy, but after facing backlash from activists and employees, they have since suspended contributions. politicians to supporters of the bill and reportedly urged lawmakers to repeal or strike it down in court.
US President Joe Biden also opposed the bill, condemning it as “odious,” writing on Twitter that, “Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted as they are. My administration will continue to fight for the dignity and opportunity of every student and family – in Florida and across the country.