Florida Senator Warns Disney: 'Don't Engage in All These Social Fights'

Florida Senator Warns Disney: 'Don't Engage in All These Social Fights'
Guests wear masks as required to attend the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla, on, July 11, 2020. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
Jack Phillips

A Florida senator said that Disney should avoid getting involved in the state's politics, namely on social issues, after the company criticized a parental rights bill backed by Republicans and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Our kindergartners shouldn't be taught about sex in school. So why Disney wants to go engage in some social issue, it doesn't make any sense to me," Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told Fox Business over the past weekend. "In a company that is relying on a special tax status, that doesn't make any sense."

"I don't understand why Disney would be doing what it's doing. I'm a business guy. You would not go engage in social issues like this if you want to keep all your customers, but I'd say the same thing about Coke and Delta when they lied about the election security laws in Georgia," Scott continued.

Scott then encouraged Disney to "take care of your customers" and "treat your employees with respect. Figure out how to be a better company. Don't engage in all these social fights."

Late last week, DeSantis signed a Florida legislature-passed bill that revoked Disney's 55-year special status within the state that provides the corporation a significant tax break while allowing it to self-govern a 25,000-acre area near Orlando.

It came weeks after Disney CEO Bob Chapek criticized a bill that prohibits teachers from instructing young children on sexual orientation and gender. The company then said it would work to try to rescind the parental rights bill, which drew condemnation from DeSantis and other Republicans.

“I truly believe we are an infinitely better and stronger company because of our LGBTQ+ community," Chapek said in a statement in reference to the law several weeks ago. "I missed the mark in this case but am an ally you can count on—and I will be an outspoken champion for the protection, visibility, and opportunity you deserve.”

Disney said the parental rights bill “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” as the firm said it has a “goal” to get the law struck down or repealed.

But DeSantis said that he will resist the multinational corporation's attempts to influence his decision-making.

“I was very clear about saying, ‘You ain’t influencing me. I’m standing strong right here,’” DeSantis said on Friday, making a reference to Chapek’s statement that Disney would work to repeal the bill. “So it doesn’t matter."

“Incredibly, they say, ‘We are going to work to repeal parents’ rights in Florida,’” he said in reference to Disney’s corporate leadership. “And I’m just thinking to myself, 'You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re going to marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state.' We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Disney for comment.

Related Topics