During a recent interview with David Rubin, Governor DeSantis explained his actions related to Disney’s opposition to the Parental Rights in Education bill.
DeSantis told Rubin that early in the 2022 Florida legislative session he became aware that activists would be pushing a false narrative about the Parental Rights in Education legislation around the “Don’t Say Gay” slogan.
DeSantis said, “I started fighting back against them because they were just lying to people and it’s offensive when they’re lying and so we start fighting back and I would literally have these reporters, I’d say, ‘Okay, where does it say that in the bill?’ ‘Okay, it doesn’t say that in the bill, what does it say?’”
DeSantis then discussed Disney’s decision to get involved with opposing the legislation.
DeSantis said, “Then you had this situation where you had the corporations, mostly Disney, deciding to get involved and I think people look at that, they’re like, first of all I don’t know why they got involved in this, it was a huge mistake for them … . I think they’ve lost 60 billion in market cap since they got involved.”
Clearly, DeSantis was impacted by the fact that Disney was accepting the narrative pushed by activists who labeled supporters of the legislation as homophobic.
“I think when they’re accepting these false narratives, especially if it’s about people in my state … we have a responsibility to fight back.”
For DeSantis, the initial opposition by Disney was not the main catalyst for his action, but rather it is what happened after the Parental Rights in Education legislation was signed.
DeSantis said, “I think Disney took it one step further when they put out this incredible statement after they already did all their virtue signaling – after we signed the bill – saying this was somehow a violation of human rights and that they would work to see that parents’ rights and education were repealed through the legislature.”
DeSantis continued, “I’m just thinking to myself, you know, I took an oath to support the laws and constitution of the U.S and the state of Florida. I did not take an oath to subcontract out my leadership to a corporation based in Burbank, California. They don’t run this state.”
DeSantis said that given Disney’s “really ridiculous course of action” he was not going to make Floridians “subsidize their activism” through lenient government regulations and massive tax breaks. DeSantis continued, “if their company is committed to that view of what’s appropriate for children and parents, as a state we just can’t have a partnership with that and so we’re out.”
– – –
Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star.