Sirius XM’s Megyn Kelly pressed Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on his war against Disney and Bud Light in an interview released Friday.
DeSantis revoked Disney’s special privileges and governing status handed to the entertainment giant in the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act in February after the company strongly opposed the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill passed in March 2022. The bill prohibited classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade.
The governor also announced a state probe into Anheuser-Busch over its push for gender ideology. Bud Light sparked backlash among conservatives for temporarily partnering with TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a male who identifies as transgender.
“They sent a beer can to this very controversial person which upset the consumers and the consumers had their say. But how is that a departure from there and how does the state get involved in that?” Kelly asked.
“How is that something that is helping their shareholders or helping their company’s value?” DeSantis asked.
“But how is that for you to weigh in on? Kelly asked.
“Because I have people in Florida that were injured by the company’s decline as a result of that. You know, these are people that rely on the pension,” the governor continued. “Disney is a different issue than this, but we have to say ‘companies should do their job,’ if they depart from that and they harm people, then you have an opportunity to potentially have recourse.” (RELATED: Megyn Kelly Asks DeSantis If He Would Pardon Trump)
DeSantis said Disney “came after” Florida during the passage of the parental rights bill and its fight against gender ideology. The company announced they would use their corporate resources granted through the Reedy Creek Improvement Act to support efforts to repeal and defy the bill, leading DeSantis’ administration to realize the company has too much power that ultimately allowed them to “sexualize children.”
“You don’t get to control your own government, you don’t get to be exempt from the laws and taxes,” the governor said. “You’re going to live under the same laws as everybody else. You’re gonna be treated like SeaWorld, you’re gonna be treated like Universal. That’s actually good policy, that’s taking away corporate welfare and putting everybody on a level playing field. We could not, I mean I couldn’t look in the mirror as a parent of a six, five and three-year-old knowing that this company was getting benefits — and these are not benefits I gave them, this is many, many decades ago — but they were doing that given the direction that they’re going with kids.”
“I draw the line at protecting kids. We are going to protect our kids and we will take on big corporations to do so,” he continued.
Kelly then argued he admitted to punishing Disney for a different political opinion, to which the governor pushed back.
“But that’s an admission that they were punished by you in part by the state for their political viewpoint,” Kelly said.
“It’s not a punishment, it’s not a punishment,” DeSantis said.
Kelly and DeSantis further sparred back-and-forth about whether Disney can oppose the law without “being punished by the state.” DeSantis argued the company can oppose the law, but was not entitled to self-govern.