Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called out Disney on Tuesday for publicly condemning Florida’s recently passed “Parental Rights in Education” bill.
“The @WaltDisneyCo filmed Mulan near #Uighur genocide camps & then thanked the people who run those camps in the credits,” Rubio said via Twitter. “But they are outraged that Florida schools will not be indoctrinating 5-year-olds on ‘gender identity.'”
The @WaltDisneyCo filmed Mulan near #Uighur genocide camps & then thanked the people who run those camps in the credits
But they are outraged that Florida schools will not be indoctrinating 5-year olds on “gender identity” https://t.co/HngBSBMhMj
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 29, 2022
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed H.B. 1557 into law Monday, which prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for students in K-3 classrooms and requires school districts to notify of parents of any changes or services surrounding their child’s physical, mental or emotional health except in instances of child abuse.
Disney condemned the legislation in a Monday statement, saying the legislation “should never have been signed into law.” (RELATED: Gov. DeSantis Says He Wears ‘Badge Of Honor’ Over Criticism From Stars Who Supported ‘Degenerates Like Harvey Weinstein’)
“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” Disney said. “We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek publicly opposed the bill earlier in March and reportedly participated in a phone call with DeSantis to express his “disappointment” in the legislation, according to The New York Times. The governor agreed to meet with Chapek and LGBTQ+ senior members of the company to address their concerns.
The company, however, had initially been silent on the bill with plans to work “behind the scenes” with lawmakers on addressing the issue, Chapek claimed.
“While we’ve been strong supporters of the community for decades, I know that many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill,” Chapek said, according to the NYT. “We were opposed to the bill from the outset, and we chose not to take a public position because we felt we could be more effective working behind the scenes directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”
DeSantis pushed back against Disney in early March, arguing that a company marketing towards young children “should understand” parents’ concerns about discussions of sexual orientation and gender content not being age appropriate for kindergarteners. He, like Rubio, also called out Disney, accusing the company of working alongside the Communist Party of China and not “saying a word” on their “brutal practices.”
“If that’s the hill they’re [Disney] gonna die on, how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China?” the governor said. “Because that’s what they do, and they make a fortune, and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP.”
Opponents have dubbed the legislation the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, though it does not prohibit students or school administrators from using the word “gay.”