Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is firing back at Disney after the company’s new CEO suggested the company might want to backtrack on its ultra-woke agenda.
"We didn't drag them in ... they went in on their own," DeSantis told Fox News' Tucker Carlson Wednesday, in response to recent comments by returning Disney CEO Bob Iger saying he plans to tap the brakes on the company’s aggressive push to the left.
The Florida governor added he has no plans to reverse his states’ move earlier this year to strip Disney of its self-governing status for its Disneyland property.
“They brought this upon themselves,” DeSantis said. “All we did was stand up for what was right. And yes, they’re a big, powerful company, but you know what? We stand up for our folks and I don’t care what a Burbank-based California company says about our laws.”
Under former CEO Bob Chapek, Disney had publicly condemned Florida’s Parental Rights In Education bill, errantly dubbed by leftists as the "Don't Say Gay" law, which banned classroom-facilitated discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation in most elementary grades and mandated that parents be informed if their child expresses confusion about their gender at school. Disney then went a step further and said they'd even work to get the bill repealed. In response, the state nixed the company’s self-governing status and other exemptions from state laws.
"They not opposed the bill, they threatened to get it repealed," DeSantis pointed out. "These are parents’ rights, important policies in our state that are very popular. They brought this on themselves — all we did was stand up for what is right. Yes, they are a big, powerful company, but … we stand up for our folks and I don’t care what a Burbank, California-based company says about our laws.
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Iger, a former Disney CEO who was recently brought back to head up the company, told Disney employees Tuesday that he was “sorry to see us dragged into that battle, and I have no idea exactly what its ramifications are in terms of the business itself. What I can say is the state of Florida has been important to us for a long time and we have been very important to the state of Florida.”
Iger also suggested that the company should refrain from getting so involved in politics.
Given that the repeal of the company’s self-governing status doesn’t kick in until July of next year, it looks like we’ll all have to wait and see the true "ramifications" of the company's ill-advised move to oppose Florida parents. But for now, it looks like the Sunshine State - and DeSantis - aren’t quite ready to forgive and forget, and Disney may just have to learn the hard way.