DeSantis' Fight With 'Woke' Disney Based on Right and Wrong Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Associated Press)
By Charlie McCarthy | Tuesday, 05 April 2022 12:24 PM
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is not using the state's new Parental Rights in Education law to wage a culture war by taking on the Walt Disney Company, according to a spokesperson. The governor simply knows right from wrong.
"The governor does not need to look at polling, in order to know that instruction on sexuality and gender ideology in kindergarten classrooms is wrong," DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw told the Washington Examiner. "Disney should refocus on its business and stop trying to wage culture wars against Floridians. The same goes for other woke corporations."
DeSantis last week signed The Parental Rights Education bill that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
Disney quickly condemned the law and vowed to fight it, joining opponents nationwide who said it marginalizes LGBTQ people.
DeSantis then responded by slamming the California-based corporation.
"For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and that they are going to actively work to repeal it, I think one was fundamentally dishonest, but two, I think that crossed the line," DeSantis told reporters in Tallahassee.
"This state is governed by the interest of the people of the state of Florida," he said. "It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives. They do not run this state; they do not control this state."
The 43-year-old governor also has expressed interest in getting rid of a unique statute that grants Disney governing authority over the central Florida land that includes its theme parks.
DeSantis' fight with Disney comes during an election year for the state’s chief executive, who has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2024 GOP national ticket.
"This plays right into DeSantis’s narrative," one Florida Republican insider, who's not aligned with the governor, told the Examiner. "Once he gets a target like this, he doesn’t let up.”
DeSantis has won over many Republican voters by sparring with the media and waging aggressive battles on key cultural issues such as voting legislation, coronavirus restrictions, social media censorship, illegal immigration, abortion rights, and parental influence over public school curriculum, the Examiner said.
Some Florida Republicans, though, question DeSantis' embrace of a fight with Disney seven months before the election.
"There’s more to Florida than the base," one state GOP operative told the Examiner. "You can’t win an election with the traditional Republican white men/white women demographic."